Living on the Edge (of the City) in Chestnut Hill
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: Chestnut Hill Living
Chestnut Hill sits at the northwest corner of Philadelphia, a one-of-a-kind neighborhood that simply oozes charm. It once stood as the gateway between Philadelphia and the nearby farms, and believe it or not, some of the city’s elite kept summer homes here because it was a few degrees cooler than the city on the “Hill.”
Today the main artery, Germantown Avenue, is populated with shops, restaurants, galleries and other locally owned businesses, and on warm weekend evenings, you’ll find vibrant groups strolling up and down the Ave on their way to spots like Mica or Iron Hill Brewery. It’s also a great place for families–the Little Treehouse Cafe has a fantastic play area and offers a range of classes, while Morris Arboretum engages little ones with its seasonal garden railroad, treehouse and beautiful grounds. Special events keep the area lively throughout the year, including Stag & Doe nights around the Christmas holiday and the Home & Garden Festival in the spring.
The homes–ranging from single family to rowhouses–often boast original features you can’t find in more modern properties. A National Historical District, Chestnut Hill has more than 100 archtecturally significant homes, including Italiante, Victorian, Queen Anne and classical. Two train stations offer easy access to the city, and drivers can reach Center City in about 20 minutes (on a good day). Part of the Philadelphia School System, the neighborhood is also home to some of the regions best private schools, including Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Norwood-Fontbonne Academy.