West Oak Lane, Philadelphia
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West Oak Lane is a neighborhood in the Northwest Philadelphia section of Philadelphia. It is located between East Mount Airy, East Germantown, Cheltenham, Montgomery County, East Oak Lane, and Fern Rock. Ogontz Avenue runs generally north, then northwest as the spine of the neighborhood and the main business strip.
The neighborhood was developed primarily between the early 1920s and late 1930s, with the areas near to Cedarbrook constructed after World War II. At the northeast corner of Limekiln Pike and Washington Lane was the site of the Cedar Park Inn, an historic tavern built in the early 19th century, which was torn down sometime after 1931 as the neighborhood was being fully developed.
Although it was predominately Caucasian from its inception until the mid-1960s, West Oak Lane is now one of Philadelphia's middle class African American communities. The area known as Ogontz is widely held to be a section of West Oak Lane.
The neighborhood is known throughout the city for its Jazz Festival. "The West Oak Lane Jazz Festival" has been held in mid-June since 2003.
The neighborhood has distinct architecture that separates it from surrounding neighborhoods. Along with larger and sometimes detached houses, West Oak Lane also has many tree-lined streets and small yards. In 2005, the 19126 and 19138 zip codes, which contain West Oak Lane, had a median home sale price of $113,200. This was a 34% increase over the median price in 2004.
The John L. Kinsey School, Samuel W. Pennypacker School, Philadelphia National Cemetery, Ogontz Hall, William Rowen School and Gen. Louis Wagner Junior High School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hope Charter School, Prince Hall Elementary School and West Oak Lane Charter School are also located in the area.
SEPTA's Route 6, once known as the Ogontz Avenue Line is a former streetcar line and current bus route, operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). This was once a popular trolley line to Willow Grove Amusement Park (current location of the Willow Grove Park Mall). Buses replaced trolleys north of Cheltenham Avenue to Willow Grove on June 8, 1958. SEPTA voted to close the Route 6 trolley line on October 23, 1985. Route 6 was converted to bus operations on January 12, 1986. It currently serves the Olney Transportation Center to the south and the Cheltenham & Ogontz Loop (across from the Cheltenham Square Mall) to the north along Cheltenham Avenue. Routes 16 (once the Cheltenham portion of SEPTA's Route C), 22, 80 Express, H and XH also serve the loop and the area. To the southernmost tip of the neighborhood, Routes K and 55 converge at the intersection of Old York Road, Broad Street & 66th Avenue.
West Oak Lane has many hotspots to shop at. Ogontz Avenue sports many shopping venues from Ogontz Plaza. Cheltenham Mall is at the end of Ogontz Avenue. Cedarbrook Plaza is only 5 minutes away by car or bus.
- "Philadelphia's Music and Culture Festival". The West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival.
- City Planning Commission (2005). "West Oak Lane Redevelopment Area Plan".[dead link]
- Thor Equities, LLC. "Mall Information, Rediscover Cheltenham Mall".
- "Looking West Along North Side of Washington Lane from Limekiln Turnpike (showing Cedar Park Inn, 1933)" (photograph). Phillyhistory.org. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "About the Festival". West Oak Lane Jazz and Arts Festival. 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.