Get to know the many neighborhoods of Philadelphia in Agent Lady’s blog series “Philly Neighborhood Spotlight.” Whether you are looking to buy a home in this wonderful City of Brotherly Love or just want to get to know the lay of the land, read about the history, location, and highlights of Philly neighborhoods.
Girard Estates, a hidden gem of a neighborhood in Philadelphia, is located in Southwest Philly. Its boundaries are from West Passyunk Avenue south to Oregon Avenue and from 17th Street west to 25th Street.
During the 1800’s, a very wealthy man named Stephen Girard bought 500 acres of land just south of Philadelphia proper. He owned a farm on the land and had a summer house. He was easily one of the wealthiest men in America at the time.
At the time of his death in 1831, he had one wish. He wanted to give the land to the city of Philadelphia, however he did not want the land to be sold. He also wished for a school for orphaned white boys from North Philadelphia to be built. So, Philadelphia took the land and built 481 homes on it from 1906 to 1916. These homes were rented to residents since Girard stated he did not want the land sold.
These homes are part of the special uniqueness of Girard Estates because of their architectural style. Rather than the typical South Philly row home, Girard Estates has semi-detached homes with different architectural styles such as Tudor, Prairie, Bungalow, and more.
By 1950, the city decided it was time to sell the homes in Girard Estates. All 481 homes in the neighborhood sold within two years of being put on the market.
Philadelphia favorite, Sylvester Stallone, filmed his movie Rocky II in Girard Estates when his character bought a home after winning a great deal of money from a fight.
Now, the neighborhood is made up of mostly Italian-Americans with a small Irish population. It’s a close-knit community and one of Philadelphia’s best-kept secrets.
Girard Estates offers residents the best of both worlds. Website Billy Penn refers to Girard Estates as “a pocket of suburbia” in Philadelphia. Homeowners can live in semi-detached homes rather than the typical row home or condo that line major city streets.
The neighborhood is quiet for the most part and mostly residential. There is a supermarket and shopping center on the edge of Girard Estates and some small restaurants. Residents will spend time in Girard Park during nice weather.
Highlights and Events
Since Girard Estates is a mostly residential neighborhood and small pocket of Philadelphia that not many people know about, large events are not planned. There is a neighborhood association that meets monthly to talk about the neighborhood and make sure that residents have a voice when making changes.
Looking to Move?
Do you love the idea of living in the suburbs but want to be super close to Center City? Then Girard Estates may be the neighborhood for you! Contact Philadelphia’s leading real estate agent, Cherise “Agent Lady” Wynne, for your free buyer consultation today!
About Brittany: Brittany is the super organized (and awesome) marketing assistant that helps home buying and selling clients have the best experience possible. She also shares her creative side by writing compelling short stories about the home buying process that are loosely based on actual client situations and captures the authentic feel of Philadelphia neighborhoods.