Spring Garden- A Stately District in North Philly

 The Spring Garden district is between Fairmount Ave and Spring Garden St, Fairmount Park and Broad Street. The district goes back to the early 1800s as estates close to Fairmount Park were subdivided up and filled in. The district really took off between 1850 to 1876 and grew to over 60K. The district is still dense but hosts about half this population. Thanks to its extensive history, Spring Garden hosts a diverse array of attractive historic styles including Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, and Venetian Gothic. Most streets contain the classic Philly “terraced” set ups with small gardened plots, often raised, in the front of homes. Most rowhouses are of the denser 3+4 story variety highly conducive to single floor flats.

Spring Garden is only 1 mile from City Hall, the heart of Central City. This gives the district convenient access to the many amenities of Central City (e.g. great museums, culture & night life, job access, park amenities, and even good retail options. Spring Garden also has solid neighborhood retail and restaurant options along Fairmount Ave. and Spring Garden St., many walkable schools, and quality urban form. Because of its convenient access to Central City its not surprising how expensive Spring Garden is. The district has decent racial and income diversity, but poor generational diversity as few families reside here. Other than creating more affordable housing, my hopes for Spring Garden is that it’s eastern border along Broad St. fills in with quality mixed-use development. This would bring more amenities and vibrancy to the district.
Click here to view my Spring Garden album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Excellent multi-model options and very walkable neighborhood. Dwtn less than a mile away.
* Nice park assets with convenient access to Fairmount Park. The Spring Gardens and Clemente Park also provides a diversity of recreational amenities right in the middle of the district.
* Solid tree cover, especially the western half of the district. 
* Maybe a bit gritty along Broad St. but otherwise a very safe district.
* Excellent historic architecture, especially the mid-late 19th century mansions near Fairmount Park.
* Nice array of walkable school options both public and private covering most age groups. Also good access to some quality school options dwtn as well.
* Solid urban form in the biz districts. Good streetscaping on Broad, decent on Fairmount, but uninspiring along Spring Garden.
* Solid cultural amenities when one also includes the amenities within 1 mile walk. Within the district  there are a decent # of restaurants, bars, and cafes especially along Fairmount and Spring Garden. The neighborhood also hosts the Jewish Museum of  Art, the Philadelphia Museum of art and the quirky Keen Collection. One also needs to include the many museums located on the district’s southern border (e.g. Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation, Rodin Museum, Franklin Institute, and much more).
* Good retail amenities. Supermarket’s include a couple local stores, ALDI’s and Wholefoods, several drug stores. Other amenities include:  a hardware store, bookstore, plenty of banks, a bike store, boutiques, and a decent amount of unique stores along Fairmount and a Target only 1/4 mile from the district. 

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Generally good ADA infrastructure but up to date ADA curb ramps are missing at most intersections.
* Majority of residents are young adults and limited family households.
* Median incomes are pretty high but still a decent diversity of incomes.
* For sale housing is pretty expensive but a good amount of moderately priced 1 & 2 bedroom condos selling in the 200Ks, 300Ks & 400Ks. Some 3-bedrooms in the 500Ks & 600ks but plenty more expensive. 4-bedrooms start around 700K and go up into the low 1 Millions.
* While there is a good amount of  rentals they are pretty expensive. 1-bedrooms going in the low to mid $1,000s. 2-bedrooms high $1,000s and low 2Ks. 3 beds in the $2,000s.
* Modern in-fill is pretty limited but some nice contextual historic infill and modern condos near Fairmount Park.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s