Andorra, Philadelphia

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Andorra
Neighborhood of Philadelphia
Philadelphia Neighborhood Map.svg
Country  United States
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia County
City Philadelphia
Area code(s) Area code 215

Andorra is a neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia, which is a section of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Andorra is a part of Roxborough, being within the borders of the original Roxborough Township and having the same zip code (19128). At some point during the 19th or 20th century, Andorra developed a cultural identity as a neighborhood within Roxborough. Finkel[1] says that the neighborhood (which occupies one of the higher elevations in Philadelphia, on bluffs overlooking the Schuylkill River) was named "Andorra" after a fancied resemblance to the small country of the same name which sits astride the Pyrenees between France and Spain.

Andorra borders Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Although within Philadelphia city limits, Andorra resembles suburban Montgomery County more than Philadelphia city neighborhoods. Andorra was established and developed in 1950 and therefore has stereotypically suburban characteristics, such as a strip mall, many single or double-family dwellings set back from the street, and apartment buildings on large lots with ample off-street parking. The most well-known apartment complexes are Summit Park and Henry on the Park.

Ridge Avenue, along with Henry Avenue (which splits off from Ridge Avenue in Andorra), are the major thoroughfares in Andorra. Other significant streets are Bells Mill Road, a 2-lane link through Fairmount Park and over the Wissahickon Creek which is the quickest way for cars (trucks or buses are prohibited) to reach Chestnut Hill from Andorra and Roxborough; Port Royal Avenue; and Cathedral Road.

On Cathedral Road, a small portion of what was to have been a large, Gothic-style cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania may still be seen. A lack of funds during the 1930s, however, prevented the cathedral's completion. The apse, the only section constructed, now serves as St. Mary's Episcopal Church. A building on the property serves as a pre-K and kindergarten center called Les Petites Cherubs. The rest of the cathedral's property houses a non-sectarian retirement home, known as Cathedral Village, where many of Philadelphia's retired social, academic, and intellectual elite reside. Across Ridge Avenue from St. Mary's are two other locally significant churches: Andorra Baptist Church, headquarters of the Philadelphia Baptist Association, one of the 33 American Baptist regions; and Armenian Apostolic Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator, which serves the Armenian community of Andorra and the immediate surrounding area.

Education[edit]

The neighborhood Catholic grade school is Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM).

Public libraries[edit]

Free Library of Philadelphia operates the Andorra Branch at the Andorra Shopping Center at 705 East Cathedral Road at Henry Avenue.[2]

Bibliography[edit]

Notable people[edit]

John Rowe

References[edit]

  1. ^ Finkel 1995, p. 156.
  2. ^ "Andorra Branch." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on November 7, 2008.

Coordinates: 40°04′21″N 75°13′53″W / 40.072611°N 75.23129°W / 40.072611; -75.23129