Francisville, Fairmount, Brewerytown, and Strawberry Mansion: 4 Neighborhoods to Know
The neighborhoods north of Spring Garden St hold more than just Center City’s overflow. Situated along the banks of the Schuylkill River, North Philly offers a vibrant art scene, delicious cuisine, and residents as diverse as the houses they live in. These neighborhoods are growing rapidly, with developers investing millions of dollars in renovated homes, cafes, and breweries. Center City and all of its attractions are still within walking distance, though many residents prefer biking or taking public transit. North Philadelphia neighborhoods allow you to escape the bustle of the “city” and still enjoy its charm. Dig into Fairmount, Brewerytown, Strawberry Mansion, and Francisville and you’ll find communities worth investing in – under a more affordable price tag than Center City can offer.
Fairmount starts at Pennsylvania Avenue and stretches east to Corinthian Avenue. The proximity to green space (both the Schuylkill River Trail and Fairmount Park) makes a strong pull for many people. A unique blend of the past, present, and future, this neighborhood offers beautiful old rowhouses alongside newly constructed modern apartments and the gothic “castle” – Eastern State Penitentiary. Here you’ll find young and old, locals and tourists, longtime residents and transplanted young urban professionals.
- Eastern State Penitentiary. The “19th century prison” started as an experiment of behavior reform through isolation and became a model for prison design around the world. Once was the most expensive building in the USA. Come and tour the notorious Al Capone’s furnished cell or experience Terror Behind the Walls, the top haunted house in America.
- Fairmount Civic Association. FCA is a membership organization devoted to the maintenance and furtherance of the civic, recreational, economic, educational, and cultural aspects of the community.
- Schuylkill River Trail and Boathouse Row – 26.5 mile, multi-use path is a favorite for bicycle clubs, families, runners, and walkers. This trail bears more than 20,000 runners, bikers, and commuters each year and was named the #1 urban trail in the country by USA TODAY in 2015. Enjoy the beautiful lit boathouses along the trail year-round.
Real estate is flipping, seemingly overnight and this neighborhood is quickly becoming a hot spot The neighborhood is extremely diverse, both racially and socioeconomically and it offers a little something for everyone. There are traditional row houses, modern townhomes, and hip apartments in renovated warehouses. Brewerytown residents can enjoy being close enough to have access to all of the city perks, while still avoiding the congested Center City. Need to get to Center City? You can reach it in 15 minutes by car, or a 45 minute brisk walk. Here you get more bang for your buck, more accessible (and often free) parking, with plenty of coffee shops, cafes, and breweries to meet your needs. The neighborhood also has an Aldi, if cheap groceries appeals to you. Plus, Brewerytown is one of the most accessible sections of the city, with I-76 just 5 minutes away and SEPTA running throughout.
- Within walking distance to the Art Museum, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia Zoo, and the Schuylkill River Trail.
- Affordable cuisine. Spot Burger, Uncle Nick’s Pizza, Rybrew, and Butter’s Soul Food,.
- Good coffee. Check out The Monkey & The Elephant, a non-profit coffee house that employs and trains young adults who were raised in foster care. Others include Lucky Goat Coffee House, iMunch Cafe.
- Breweries. It wouldn’t be “brewerytown” without a few neighborhood spots. Along with Flying Fish Crafthouse, Crime and Punishment Brewery is full of avid patrons and rotating house brews.
Once the site of a vineyard, this is North Philadelphia’s oldest neighborhood. This neighborhood has some of the oldest buildings and sidewalks in the city, giving it an old-fashioned feel. While it’s historically been seen as a sub-section of Fairmount, Francisville has planted its flag as a neighborhood all on its own. As a resident of Francisville, you’ll have access to the many Fairmount attractions, but typically at a lower price point.
- Food options abound: Vineyards Cafe, Hickory Lane American Bistro, Osteria, Tela’s Market & Kitchen
- Was the recipient of the City’s Popup Pool Project. Created through a grant from the Knight Foundation, the public pool in the neighborhood was transformed into a small oasis, with built-in wooden deck loungers and palm trees.
- Has an active Neighborhood Development Corporation with a weekly Farmer’s Market at 19th and Fairmount Ave.
Strawberry Mansion is often associated with, and thought to be named after, the Historic Strawberry Mansion, located adjacent to the neighborhood. In addition to the mansion, this neighborhood has a number historic homes, many facing Fairmount Park. On of our agents wrote a blog discussing investment possibilities in the neighborhood that’s worth giving a look over if this neighborhood strikes your fancy.
- Before it became Strawberry Mansion, was referred to as Summerville
- Don’t be surprised to see horses walking down the street while in the neighborhood. One local group, the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, provides activities and support to neighborhood children.
- John Coltrane was a resident in the 1950’s and later bought the home for his mother. The John Coltrane House, currently owned by his cousin, is designated a National Historic Landmark.
On to the Numbers for Lower North Philly
Interested in buying or selling in one of these neighborhoods? Give us a call at 267-765-2080 or fill out a contact form to get in touch.