Ardmore, Pennsylvania

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Ardmore
Official logo of Ardmore
Keystone Marker
Motto: "The Main Street of the Main Line"
Population (2010) 12,455
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 19003
Area code(s) 610

Ardmore is a census-designated place (CDP) in Delaware and Montgomery counties in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The population was 12,455 at the 2010 census. The community of Ardmore is a suburb on the west side of Philadelphia, within Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County; and Haverford Township in Delaware County. Originally named Athensville in 1853, the community and its railroad station were renamed Ardmore in 1873 by the Pennsylvania Railroad, on whose "Main Line", west out of Philadelphia, Ardmore sits at Milepost 8.5.[1]

Geography[edit]

Ardmore is located at 40°00′24″N 75°17′07″W / 40.00667°N 75.28528°W / 40.00667; -75.28528 (40.001411, −75.295180).[2]

Drawing of Ardmore train station ca 1875
Ardmore train station sign from the PRR era.
The exit to the Suburban Square in Ardmore

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2). Ardmore is adjacent to Wynnewood (east), Haverford (west), Gladwyne (north), and Havertown (southwest). Residents from South East Ardmore and Wynnewood cooperate as the ArdWood Civic Association. The Ardmore Progressive Civic Association serves the historically Black section of Ardmore bordered by ArdWood Civic Association, Haverford College, Montgomery Avenue, and the Montgomery/Delaware County line. The North Ardmore Civic Association represents residents of North Ardmore and Wynnewood north of Montgomery Avenue. And the South Ardmore Betterment Alliance is a community group in the southern (Haverford Township) portion of Ardmore which organizes various community activities.[3]

Ardmore's train station is served by SEPTA Regional Rail's Paoli/Thorndale Line (commuter) and Amtrak (intercity) passenger trains. Residents and visitors enjoy several recreation areas, including South Ardmore Park, which is located in neighboring Wynnewood, though many mistake it for Ardmore. Suburban Square, opened in 1928 as one of the earliest shopping centers in the United States, is located adjacent to the Ardmore train station.[4] Ardmore contains the nation's first suburban branch of a major department store, the former Strawbridge and Clothier which opened there in 1930;[5] the former Suburban movie theater—now American Eagle Outfitters; the newly relocated Ardmore Farmer's Market; an Apple Store, and the usual selection of mall shops. Other landmarks within the Ardmore Progressive Civic Association borders include the Ardmore Post Office and Ardmore Public Library on South Ardmore Avenue; the Ardmore Ice Skating Club on Greenfield Avenue; a public swimming pool; lighted tennis/basketball courts; the community center known as "The Shack"; and two senior housing projects.

Other landmarks historically associated with Ardmore include the Autocar Manufacturing Company, an important manufacturer of trucks and jeeps during the world wars, once located on Lancaster Pike on the site of the current Ardmore West Shopping Center, which burned down in a famous conflagration in 1956; the Ardmore Theater on Lancaster Pike, now the Philadelphia Sports Club; Harrison's Department Store, on the north side of Lancaster Pike across from the theater; Mads Record Shop, rock music mecca since the genre's inception, still going strong; the Merion Art Center; the Pennywise Thrift Shop of Jefferson Medical College; Lyons Hardware Store on Rittenhouse Place; Rittenhouse Electric, also on Rittenhouse Place; A. Talone Cleaners at Lancaster and Greenfield; and luxury travel company Swain Destinations.

Two sites, located in the Haverford Township section of Ardmore, The Merion Golf Club East Course and Pont Reading are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1990 12,646
2000 12,616 −0.2%
2010 12,455 −1.3%

As of the 2010 census, the CDP was 76.8% White, 12.9% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 4.1% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 1.2% were Some Other Race, and 2.3% were two or more races. 4.0% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 12,616 people, 5,529 households, and 3,129 families residing in Ardmore. The population density was 6,588.5 people per square mile (2,550.3/km²). There were 5,711 housing units at an average density of 2,982.5/sq mi (1,154.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 83.51% White, 11.47% African American, 0.12% Native American, 2.58% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 1.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.05% of the population.

There were 5,529 households out of which 23.9% included children under the age of 18, 43.0% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.4% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 32.1% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 86.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.9 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $60,966, and the median income for a family was $75,828. Males had a median income of $46,920 versus $40,802 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $36,111. About 2.4% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

Lancaster Ave/US-30 runs through downtown Ardmore.
The Ardmore West Shopping Center
Montgomery Ave, which runs parallel to Lancaster Ave, is mostly residential in nature.

Education[edit]

Pupils living in the Lower Merion Township portion attend schools in the Lower Merion School District, while pupils living in the Haverford Township portion attend schools in the School District of Haverford Township.

Among the many notable graduates of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore are General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold (1903), Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Forces in WWII; General Alexander M. Haig, Jr. (1942), the 59th United States Secretary of State; James H. Billington (1946), the Librarian of Congress, and; Kobe Bryant (1996), an all star NBA basketball player.

Notable people[edit]

Fictional

Eminent domain controversy[edit]

Since 2004, Ardmore's business district has been the subject of a hotly contested eminent domain battle.[10] A grassroots organization, the Save Ardmore Coalition, along with local businesses and other civic groups,[11][12] opposed an eminent domain/redevelopment program that would likely have involved the demolition of certain historic buildings, and favored preserving those buildings for other commercial use. In March 2006 the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution disavowing the use of eminent domain for the benefit of private redevelopment projects. The Ardmore battle was also instrumental in prompting the Pennsylvania General Assembly to enact legislation in 2006 restricting[13] the use of eminent domain for private projects.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Montgomery County: The Second Hundred Years - 1983". Lowermerionhistory.org. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ South Ardmore Betterment Alliance. "South Ardmore Betterment Alliance | A Neighborhood Civic Association operating in Haverford Township, Delaware County". Sabanews.org. Retrieved 2012-05-06. 
  4. ^ Jones, Dick, ed. The First Three Hundred: The Amazing and Rich History of Lower Merion. Ardmore: Lower Merion Historical Society, 2001.
  5. ^ Ibid.
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  7. ^ Census 2010: Pennsylvania. Usatoday.Com. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963. 
  10. ^ "Property rights and eminent domain: Hands off our homes. A Supreme Court ruling that allows the government to seize private property has set off a fierce backlash that may yet be as potent as the anti-abortion movement". The Economist. August 15, 2005. 
  11. ^ "Why the fuss about this block?". Saveardmorecoalition.org. 
  12. ^ "A Century of Service For Naught?". Phillyfuture.org. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]