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Old 07-31-2013, 08:11 AM
 
76 posts, read 171,544 times
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There's seems to be a ton of bias and misinformation floating around about Delaware County, PA. As someone who has spent a substantial amount of time in pretty much ALL areas of Delco, I felt the need to make a thread dedicated to providing factual information about the various boroughs, townships, census designated places, and unincorporated communities in Delaware County.

Ardmore
Although Ardmore is located in both Delaware County & Montgomery County, many people tend to associate it purely with MontCo due to its "main line" look and feel. Ardmore is one of those places I don't know too much about, but I do know that it is served by both the Lower Merion School District and the School District of Haverford Township (depending on which side of Ardmore you live in). Ardmore is also home to Suburban Square, a large, outdoor shopping mall with high-end shops (including both boutiques and department stores), and outdoor cafes. While much of Ardmore is seen as "upscale," there are several pockets that are definitely considered to be working class. Although it is technically located on the main line, it is probably the most blue-collar area the main line has to offer.

Aldan
Aldan is a decidedly blue-collar area of Delaware County. It's reputation would probably be better if it wasn't serviced by the William Penn School District. Aldan could be considered a nicer offshoot of Clifton Heights, given their proximity and similarities.

Aston Township
Aston Township is your typical, run-of-the-mill, middle class suburban town. It's predominantly white, has a median family income of around $55k, and residents attend Sun Valley High School which is neither great nor horrible. There are some pretty houses that rest on large plots of land as well as lower-end housing available for lower-income people.

Clifton Heights
Blue-collar, working class town. People generally see it as one of the areas that drags down Upper Darby School District's reputation. In all my years of frequenting the town of DelCo, I've never seen any stand-out houses in this area. Underage drinking and illegal drug use are becoming increasingly dominant in this area.

Collingdale
If you're looking to purchase real estate in DelCo, look elsewhere. Collingdale has a horrible crime rate, a low median income, and no nice houses to speak of. Not trying to be rude, just stating the facts. This is considered a low class town (as opposed to working class). The school district is one of the worst not only in the state of PA, but in the entire country. In some parts of Collingdale, it's not even safe to walk around late at night. Underage drinking and drug abuse is the norm here.

Darby
At this point, Darby is an extension of Philly. Sadly, Collingdale is (not so) slowly but surely, becoming an extension of Darby. I can only hope this doesn't spread further.

Lansdowne/East Lansdowne
If only Lansdowne could be successfully gentrified. It's not so bad that people are completely writing it off, but it not the greatest area in the world. It's definitely a "rougher" neighborhood. The only thing keeping it (slightly) afloat is the amazing housing stock. You can purchase a completely renovated Victorian for around $150k and the taxes are nowhere near as high as neighboring Drexel Hill. There is a movement to get Clifton Heights and Lansdowne to form their own school district in hopes of salvaging the rest of Upper Darby Township.

Eddystone
Eddystone would be the perfect quaint, family community if it weren't so close to Chester. You can literally hear gun shots and police sirens at all hours of the night. That being said, Eddystone is a very "cute" community where homeowners take pride in their homes. Most neighbors are friendly, and the kids get to attend Ridley School District which is a plus. If only we could physically move Eddystone further West ...

Folcroft
Teeters between being a lower class and working class area. Mostly made up of rowhomes. Underage drinking and drug abuse are starting to become the norm. Huge coke ring/biker gang was apparently busted here a few decades back and the area has been going downhill ever since. Real estate market is pretty much down the toilet.

Glenolden
By and large a working class area. School districts aren't great, but if your kid is naturally smart and motivated and is more a leader than a follower, he/she will do just fine. I would encourage him/her to hang out in places other than Glenolden, however. The areas that run up and down MacDade Blvd and Chester Pike are becoming an absolute mess. However, I do believe that Glenolden can be saved. It's definitely better off than places like Folcroft, Collingdale, and Sharon Hill. Hopefully neighboring areas such as Ridley and Swarthmore can help pull it up, but this seems unlikely considering Ridley needs help itself and Swarthmore really doesn't associate itself with Glenolden.

Marcus Hook
Sounds harsh but at this point it's just a waste of time. Basically an extension of Chester.

Media
People on this site love to throw around the fact that Media has a downtown. Great! Have any of you ever actually been to Media's downtown area? Theres a handful of restaurants/bars and a Trader Joe's. Congratulations. Anyway, most of Media is dowdy and you will feel uncomfortable unless you are super liberal. I know a few people who grew up in Middleton Township (which Media is a part of) that lived in multi million dollar homes. However, I don't know anyone who grew up in Media proper who was wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. Runnymeade Farms is an excellent community that borders Ridley Creek State Park. The homes are very expensive but the community is tight-knit and well worth it. Springton Lake is another gorgeous development in Media located near 252 and the Delaware County Community College's Media campus. If you can't afford these 2 areas and are looking to BUY, not RENT, I'd look elsewhere.

Morton
No one I know really wants to be associated with Morton. The people from Ridley think it's "shady" and site the block of projects as the cause. The people from Springfield think Morton pales in comparison and is bringing down their school district's reputation. Morton's downtown street (I don't think you can really refer to it as a district) has a great restaurant and bar and a few cute shops, but that's it.

Norwood
Everyone's a little iffy on Norwood. General consensus seems to be that Interboro School District sucks. Crime in the surrounding areas is rising. Houses are being sold cheap. Additionally, the houses aren't really anything special to look at. I'd consider it a relatively stable community for now, but not good for a long-term investment.

Prospect Park
As I mentioned earlier, the areas surrounding MacDade Blvd and Chester Pike are rapidly declining. This includes Prospect Park. It's a very working-class, blue-collar town with somewhat of a Union presence. The bars tend to be densely packed and pretty seedy for the most part. Definite alcohol/drug presence. Not a great place to raise kids at this point in time. It has a downtown area that has the potential to be "quaint," but only if they start filling it with better shops. There are a few streets with beautiful single-family homes, but most of the homes are very small and are seriously lacking curb appeal.

Ridley Park
Home to some gorgeous Victorian homes, however most of them are in disrepair and in serious need of renovations that's likely to cost you a boatload of money. Bottom line is, a lot of people don't find Ridley Park worth investing in because of the surrounding areas and the slightly below average school district, so these homes stay in ruins are are huge eyesores. I really hope some wealthy investor comes in and buys them all up so that they can be restored to their former glory. Total waste of absolutely gorgeous architecture. Ridley Park is in Ridley Township which has a huge middle class, blue-collar, Union presence. I don't think the area is going downhill per se, but it would be better if Ridley Park could detach itself from other places in Ridley Township like Eddystone, Leedom Estates, and Folsom.

Rutledge
Some houses make Rutledge seem like a mini-Swarthmore, but some houses make it seem like a high-end Ridley Township. It's solidly middle/upper-middle class and located within a great school district. Part of the reason Rutledge is so sought after is because it's seen as being relatively exclusive, rarely having homes for sale. I think there are currently 2 or 3 on the market. The houses are huge and gorgeous compared to neighboring Folsom where the majority of the housing stock consists of bland and boring brick cape cods (no offense if this is your thing, I just prefer houses with more character).

Springfield
Springfield Township is huge. There are definitely upper class pockets, but most of Springfield is considered a solidly middle class town. Springfield Township is home to the Springfield Mall, AMC Marple 10 Movie Theatre, Springfield Country Club, and The Healthplex (probably the best gym facility in Delaware County). The upper class section of Springfield is located along North Rolling Road. One of the best school districts in Delaware County. But, if you're looking at other school districts in MontCo and ChesCo, it's nothing special.

Sharon Hill
You can pretty much lump Sharon Hill in with Folcroft, Collingdale, and Darby. I can't imagine anyone spending money on a home there these days. Most of the people I knew who grew up there couldn't wait to get out because they knew it was going downhill even then. Horrible school district, high crime rates. Pretty much on par with Collingdale in terms of feeling safe walking around at night. (Hint: Don't do it.)

Swarthmore
Gorgeous homes, priced accordingly. Good school district. Apartments and condos available for rent. Small community feel. By and large considered upscale for Delaware County and an exclave of the Main Line. If you could physically remove Swarthmore from DelCo and plop it down in the middle of ChesCo or MontCo, it would make more sense. Snobbery tends to run deep because it is one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest section of Delaware County, especially compared to the surrounding areas. There are a few blocks in Swarthmore that contain relatively new homes. In my opinion, these homes make Swarthmore look tacky and very "new money" compared to some of the gorgeous mansions you drive by when coming from the direction of Baltimore Pike.

Folsom
Ridley Township. School district is mediocre, but seeming to go downhill in recent years. Very blue-collar/working/middle class. Standard homes are brick cape cod.

Woodlyn
The dump of Ridley Township. The homes are nice enough but the area is going downhill, especially given it's close proximity to Chester and I95. Many seedy bars and drug use happening in this area.

Drexel Hill
If you're looking to buy a home in Drexel Hill there are only 3 areas really worth looking at - Aronimink Estates, Drexel Park, and Pilgrim Gardens. Aronimink and Drexel Park have the bigger/better homes. Drexel Park is in the seediest area because it borders parts of Lansdowne and crime has increased a bit in recent years (break ins, muggings, etc.). An added bonus of living in Pilgrim Gardens is that it is actually served by Haverford School District so the kids there get to escape the clutches of Upper Darby High School- huge bonus. Houses in Drexel Park tend to sell for anywhere from $300k to $400k. Homes in Aronimink Estates go from $250k - $400k. If these 3 areas were looked at as separate from Upper Darby Township, they would be compared to Swarthmore and a few Main Line areas. These are the upper middle class sections of Upper Darby Township. The rest of UD Township is decidedly middle class with a few working class areas (Stonehurst, Garret Hill, etc.)

Havertown
Good and bad areas. Great school district. The areas that border Upper Darby/Llanerch are less sought after than the ones bordering Haverford (a main line community). Housing prices are pretty high. Taxes are a tad high, but a lot lower than neighboring Drexel Hill. The Quarry Center just opened on Township Line and includes a Super Giant, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Chipotle, and Lowes. It's bound to bring a lot of business/tax relief to the township. They also just completely rebuilt Monoa Elementary School which was a huge, multi-million dollar project, but well worth it. The school district is award-winning. There are blue-collar areas but Havertown is by and large an upper middle class community with a large white-collar presence.



Feel free to make an addition or ask a question! I know there are some areas I've missed!
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Old 07-31-2013, 10:16 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,227 posts, read 5,562,899 times
Reputation: 3325
You left out Garnet Valley, Upper Providence, Newtown Square, Radnor, Glen Mills, Chadds Ford, Edgemont and Brookhaven.


Just to add my two cents. For Media, I would not consider it "doudy" and overwhemingly liberal. The area is more liberal, but I certainly would not feel exiled for thinking differently. Also, I would consider all of the surrounding communities of Media: Middletown, Upper Providence, Rose Valley, Edgemont to be very well-to-due areas. Of course no matter where you go in the nation finding people who live in multimillion dollar homes is limited, but the Media area has no shortage of upper middleclass/upper class families living in very nice established neighborhoods.

And though Swarthmore is very wealthy, I would not say it is out of place for delaware county. Delaware county has just as many beautiful and wealthy areas as chester, bucks, and montgomery counties. Delaware county just has more areas that are rundown, but generally isolated. And I have encountered much more snobbery in Glen Mills, Newtown Square, Edgemont areas than I have in Swarthmore

Delco has a large group of areas that by all means at least upper middle class. Garnet Valley, Glen Mills, Edgemont, Upper Providence, Middletown, Rose Valley, Nether Providence, Swarthmore, Radnor, Havorford, Newtown Square.

It seems that you focused more on the average areas of the county in your post, which a lot of people who are not overly familar with the entire county tend to do. Delaware county is very interesting because it has the greatest economic and aesthetic disparity in the area, you go from Chester to Radnor with everything in between.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:17 AM
 
3 posts, read 9,336 times
Reputation: 10
Well RCDelco you're 100% wrong! Ridley Park has been a separate municipality from Ridley Township for 125 years, since 1887. There are three great Victorian homes in Ridley Park that are in sour shape and great need of repair; they are all owned by the same person, otherwise the other great Victorian giants are locally loved and very well maintained; just drive along Sellers Ave or East & West Ridley Ave some time - you'll see all the giants are wall taken care of.

"Ridley Park is in Ridley Township which has a huge middle class, blue-collar, Union presence. I don't think the area is going downhill per se, but it would be better if Ridley Park could detach itself from other places in Ridley Township like Eddystone, Leedom Estates, and Folsom"
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,166 posts, read 1,297,252 times
Reputation: 442
Why would someone not super liberal feel uncomfortable in Media? What do you exactly mean by liberal? I'm confused by this statement.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:53 PM
 
434 posts, read 1,152,778 times
Reputation: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCdelco View Post

Media
People on this site love to throw around the fact that Media has a downtown. Great! Have any of you ever actually been to Media's downtown area? Theres a handful of restaurants/bars and a Trader Joe's. Congratulations.
If by "handful" of restaurants/bars you mean "more than 30" then I suppose you're right.

When is the last time you walked down State Street? You'll find Mexican, Italian, French, Thai, Chinese, Indian, sushi and America cuisine along with bars, pizza parlors, delis and gourmet take out places. The breadth of options is probably most obvious on Wednesday nights in the summer when they shut down the street for "Dining Under the Stars." More than 18 sit-down restaurants and hundreds of people regularly participate. It's a fantastic weekly event.

Here's a quick list of dining options:
Search Results | Visit Media Pa
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:12 PM
 
434 posts, read 1,152,778 times
Reputation: 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCdelco View Post
Media
... Anyway, most of Media is dowdy and you will feel uncomfortable unless you are super liberal. I know a few people who grew up in Middleton Township (which Media is a part of) that lived in multi million dollar homes. However, I don't know anyone who grew up in Media proper who was wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. ...

"Media" means different things to different people. Often "Media" includes all of zip code 19063, which crosses multiple different municipalities (including Edgmont township, Middletown township, Upper Providence township, part of Marple township, part of Nether Providence township) and school districts (Rose Tree-Media and Wallingford-Swarthmore). The only part that is technically the municipality of "Media" is the one+ square mile of Media borough.

I point this out because it's awfully hard to generalize the wealth or political leanings of an area this large. As with the larger Delaware County, there is a lot of diversity (economic, racial, social, ...) in "Media".
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,782 posts, read 2,752,720 times
Reputation: 2898
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyViaBoston View Post
If by "handful" of restaurants/bars you mean "more than 30" then I suppose you're right.

When is the last time you walked down State Street? You'll find Mexican, Italian, French, Thai, Chinese, Indian, sushi and America cuisine along with bars, pizza parlors, delis and gourmet take out places. The breadth of options is probably most obvious on Wednesday nights in the summer when they shut down the street for "Dining Under the Stars." More than 18 sit-down restaurants and hundreds of people regularly participate. It's a fantastic weekly event.

Here's a quick list of dining options:
Search Results | Visit Media Pa
THANK YOU, and thank you CPOMP for listing all the towns HE MISSED! I've lived in DELCO for over 50 years, and yes there are negative influences creeping in, but also a GREAT DEAL OF WEALTH, old money and gorgeous areas as well. Seems like he just want to highlight the negative end.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:08 PM
 
421 posts, read 728,952 times
Reputation: 65
Delaware County is a very complicated puzzle of political leanings. The poorer whites in it are generally conservative. Generally, the farther south in Delco you go, the more poor and conservative it gets, while staying white, and this is also true the farther east you go. Chester and Upper Darby are at the extreme south and east of the county, respectively, and are predominantly black and Democratic. I think the blacks all over the USA are gradually abandoning the Democratic Party due to its support for both abortion and gay rights. Sort of ironically, most poor whites (except those whose political leanings are dictated strictly by economic principles), especially Southerners, long ago abandoned the Democratic Party as it welcomed blacks, luring the blacks away from the Republican Party, which in turn invited the poor whites. The two parties played musical chairs from the 1920s all the way up to at least the beginning of the Vietnam War in 1964. I don't understand why white liberals are attracted so strongly to Media though, but the OP's observation about this is true. It would normally seem that the white liberals would be too busy running the younger cities/suburbs in Montgomery County, Chester County, Bucks County, etc which are all somewhat less landlocked than Philly and Delco, and are lacking the rural poverty (with a few exceptions) that the edges of Philly and Delco are suffering from.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:07 AM
 
364 posts, read 619,744 times
Reputation: 305
Blacks turning republican? Liberals running young cities? Rural poverty? What the hell?
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:49 AM
 
12,767 posts, read 28,906,844 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wardwhirlboromarlpool1955 View Post
Delaware County is a very complicated puzzle of political leanings. The poorer whites in it are generally conservative. Generally, the farther south in Delco you go, the more poor and conservative it gets, while staying white, and this is also true the farther east you go. Chester and Upper Darby are at the extreme south and east of the county, respectively, and are predominantly black and Democratic. I think the blacks all over the USA are gradually abandoning the Democratic Party due to its support for both abortion and gay rights. Sort of ironically, most poor whites (except those whose political leanings are dictated strictly by economic principles), especially Southerners, long ago abandoned the Democratic Party as it welcomed blacks, luring the blacks away from the Republican Party, which in turn invited the poor whites. The two parties played musical chairs from the 1920s all the way up to at least the beginning of the Vietnam War in 1964. I don't understand why white liberals are attracted so strongly to Media though, but the OP's observation about this is true. It would normally seem that the white liberals would be too busy running the younger cities/suburbs in Montgomery County, Chester County, Bucks County, etc which are all somewhat less landlocked than Philly and Delco, and are lacking the rural poverty (with a few exceptions) that the edges of Philly and Delco are suffering from.
I'd suggest we stick to the GENERAL vibe of Delco towns and leave politics to another forum. Posts after this one with political chatter, not on-topic for this forum will be EDITED, deleted or given infractions.
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