Springfield Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
|Elevation||243 ft (74.1 m)|
|Area||6.4 sq mi (16.6 km2)|
|- land||6.4 sq mi (17 km2)|
|- water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%|
|Density||3,723.0 / sq mi (1,437.5 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
Springfield Township, or simply Springfield, is a township and a census-designated place in Delaware County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The population was 23,677 at the 2000 census. Springfield is a suburb of Philadelphia, located about 10 miles (16 km) west of the city.
Springfield is located at (39.926961, -75.335231).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 6.4 square miles (16.5 km²), of which, 6.4 square miles (16.5 km²) of it is land and 0.16% is water.
- Haverford Township, Delaware County - north
- Upper Darby Township, Delaware County - east
- Ridley Township, Delaware County - south
- Morton Borough, Delaware County - south
- Swarthmore Borough, Delaware County - southwest. (A small exclave of Springfield Township is located south of Swarthmore Boro (see map to right)).
- Nether Providence Township, Delaware County - southwest
- Marple Township, Delaware County - northwest
The United States Census Bureau has also defined the township as a census-designated place with an area exactly equivalent to the township. As of the census of 2000, there were 23,677 people, 8,618 households, and 6,790 families residing in the township. The population density was 3,723.0 people per square mile (1,437.4/km²). There were 8,800 housing units at an average density of 1,383.7/sq mi (534.2/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 94.6% White, 0.5% African American, 0.05% Native American, 4.2% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.12% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.65% of the population.
There were 8,618 households out of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.3% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.2% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the township the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 20.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.4 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $89,019, and the median income for a family was $103,424. Males had a median income of $64,830 versus $50,651 for females. The per capita income for the township was $35,231. About 1.7% of families and 3.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
Pupils in Springfield attend schools in the Springfield School District. This is not to be confused with Springfield Township School District, which is located in Springfield Township, Montgomery County.
The public school system comprises three elementary schools: Springfield Literacy Center, Scenic Hills and Sabold; one middle school: E. T. Richardson Middle School; and one high school: Springfield High School. The Springfield Literacy Center contains all students of Kindergarten and first grade; Scenic Hills (or just "Scenic") and Sabold contain various students grades 2 through 5 (depending on which one is closer to you); E. T. Richardson (or ETR) contains grades 6, 7, and 8; and Springfield High School contains grades 9 through 12. Springfield High School currently has 1,200 students enrolled.
There is one private, Catholic high school: Cardinal O'Hara High School. There are two private, Catholic grade schools: Holy Cross and St. Francis of Assisi. A third, St. Kevin's, is no longer open.
First settled before the year 1700 by Quakers who arrived in Pennsylvania with William Penn, Springfield was first recognized as a governmental entity in 1686. The names of many of the streets in Springfield are named after former prominent citizens, including Powell, Kennerly, Lownes, Thomas, Levis, Foulke, Evans, Pancoast, Worrell, and Edge. After its founding, Springfield was primarily a farming town.
On December 9, 1687 the settlers began laying the road to Amosland as it was then called. This road is now known as Springfield Road. In 1701 construction began on the Baltimore Pike; the road was formed of sturdy oak planks, some of which still exist under the current Baltimore Pike. 1701 also marked the year that construction began on the first Quaker meeting house. The meeting house burned down in 1737 and was rebuilt. The current meeting house that stands in its spot today was constructed in 1851.
By the date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 it is estimated from tax records that about 300 people resided in Springfield.
By the 19th century Springfield had become more industrialized. Taking advantage of its many creeks, the inhabitants erected many mills. However, the town was still primarily a farming town.
At the beginning of the 20th century Springfield's Baltimore Pike had become one of the busiest commercial areas outside of Philadelphia. The strip of Baltimore Pike in Springfield became known as "The Golden Mile". The Golden Mile is a unique corridor that is essentially a compact commercial strip that cuts directly through an established residential area on both sides. Lifelong residents of the community are currently pushing to improve the cluttered and dangerous Golden Mile, through the implementation of green initiatives, responsible traffic planning, and zoning improvements.
In the past century, all of Springfield's farmland was slowly bought up by developers who turned Springfield into the town it is today, that is, largely comprising developments of standard suburban single-family homes. One of the largest single developments was the Stoney Creek development. Construction began in 1949 and was completed in only 5 years. The huge development stretched from West Avenue to Providence Road and ran all the way up to Baltimore Pike. Over 75 homes were constructed in the development. Unlike most housing developments of their time, no two houses in Stoney Creek were built exactly the same. While all resemble each other with their stone fronts and common size, slight variations such as porches and window placement differed on each house, making each one slightly different.
Though all of the farmland of Springfield's past is gone, many of the woods and fields of the past still remain standing today in some of the many parks located throughout the community.
Currently, the bulk of Springfield's history lies recorded in the archives of the Heritage Society of Springfield, and the Springfield Township Public Library (a member of the Delaware County Library System).
The township is home to Springfield Mall, a 590,000-square-foot (55,000 m2), two-level shopping mall. One of the first several suburban locations of Strawbridge & Clothier was located in Springfield. The old Strawbridge & Clothier has since been reconstructed into a Target.
Notable natives and residents
- Benjamin West - Anglo-American painter
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.