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Kensington is a neighborhood in the American city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is between the Lower Northeast section of Philadelphia and North Philadelphia. Not to be confused with the former Kensington District, now commonly referred to as Fishtown, the area modernly referred to incorrectly as "Kensington" is more of a section of smaller sub-neighborhoods than a clearly defined area. As such, there are disputes among locals as to the boundaries of the area.
Generally accepted boundaries are the triangular area bounded by Erie Avenue to the north, Front Street (and sometimes Fifth Street) to the West and Trenton Avenue to the East. While others say it's bounded by Kensington Avenue to north, Aramingo Avenue to the south, Lehigh Avenue to the west, and Castor Avenue to east. Within these boundaries, sub-neighborhoods include Harrowgate, Lower Kensington, West Kensington and Fishtown. Due to colloquial changes in the boundaries of the area since the Act of Consolidation, 1854, no clear definition is possible. The Greater Kensington area of the city roughly coincides with the former Kensington District, Richmond District, Aramingo Borough and Northern Liberties Township. Since incorporation into the City of Philadelphia (see Act of Consolidation, 1854), these areas have evolved over time to include portions of the modern "Kensington". The area is just a couple of miles northeast of Center City and just to the West of the Port Richmond neighborhood.
In the nineteenth century, Kensington was one of the leading centers of the textile industry, particularly in carpet manufacture. McNeil Laboratories began with the purchase of a pharmacy in the area in 1879 by the company's namesake.
Deindustrialization eventually took its hold on the neighborhood in the 1950s, leading to a significant population loss, high unemployment, economic decline, and the abandoning of homes in the neighborhood. However, some sections of the neighborhood have been revitalized in recent years, especially those near Frankford Avenue, Kensington's neighbor North of Lehigh Avenue, and Fishtown, an area of Kensington where many Shad fisheries were located, another traditionally working-class neighborhood which has seen rents increase. While most of the large manufacturers have left, the area has many small shops and large renovated factories and warehouses for newer artisans to set up shop.
The U.S. Postal Service designates Kensington as ZIP codes 19125 (Kensington Station) The U.S. Postal service considers 19134 (Richmond Station) as the area known as Richmond and Port Richmond. Adjacent neighborhoods are Northern Liberties zip code 19123, Fishtown zip code 19125( a sub neighborhood of Kensington), Port Richmond zipcode 19134, Juniata , and Frankford.
The 26th District Police and Patrol Station, Beatty's Mills Factory Building, H.W. Butterworth and Sons Company Building, Kensington High School for Girls, and Philip H. Sheridan School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Boundaries and Population Statistics
Kensington is bounded by York Street to the southwest, Kensington Avenue to the northwest, Lehigh Avenue to the northeast, and Aramingo Avenue to the southeast. Bordering neighborhoods include West Kensington to the west, Olde Kensington and Fishtown to the south, Port Richmond to the east, and Harrowgate to the north. As of the 2010 Census, Kensington was 38.9% Hispanic of any race, 37.4% non Hispanic white, 14.8% non Hispanic black, 6.2% Asian, and 2.7% all other.
Government and infrastructure
The intersection of Kensington and Allegheny Avenues (commonly referred to by Philadelphians as "K & A") is a major transportation and retail hub in the Richmond neighborhood, as it is served by the Frankford Elevated portion of the Market-Frankford Line which, running on top of Kensington Avenue, dominates the intersection. SEPTA bus routes 3 (on Kensington Avenue, running underneath the "El") and 60 on Allegheny Avenue, with route 5 nearby on Frankford Avenue, also serve the K & A area.
Primary and secondary schools
The School District of Philadelphia operates public schools. Public schools in Kensington include Kensington High School Complex, Jules E. Mastbaum Vocational Technical High School, Russell Conwell Middle Magnet School and John H. Webster Elementary School. Private schools include Ascension of Our Lord Parish School.
The intersection of Kensington Avenue and Somerset Street was listed number one in a 2007 list of the city's top ten recreational drug corners according to an article by Philadelphia Weekly reporter Steve Volk.
In 2010, three victims were found strangled. The killer is referred to by the media as "The Kensington Strangler." A "person of interest" in the case was arrested in January 2011.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Post Office Location - KENSINGTON." United States Post Office. Retrieved on January 16, 2009.
- "McPherson Square Branch." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on November 7, 2008.
- Volk, Steve. "Top 10 Drug Corners." Philadelphia Weekly. May 2, 2007. Retrieved on January 20, 2009.
- 6 ABC news, 17 January 2011. "Police arrest 'Kensington Strangler' person of interest". Accessed 17 January 2011.
- Encyclopaedia Kensingtoniana 
- New Kensington Community Development Corporation
- Frankford Avenue Arts
- Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby