Ardmore, Pennsylvania

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Ardmore, Pennsylvania
Ardmore post office
Ardmore post office
"The Main Street of the Main Line"
Location in Delaware County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Location in Delaware County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
Coordinates: 40°00′24″N 75°17′07″W / 40.00667°N 75.28528°W / 40.00667; -75.28528
CountryUnited States
CountiesDelaware, Montgomery
TownshipsHaverford, Lower Merion
 • Total1.97 sq mi (5.09 km2)
 • Land1.97 sq mi (5.09 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
282 ft (86 m)
 • Total13,566
 • Density6,900.31/sq mi (2,664.01/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area codes610 and 484
FIPS code42-02896

Ardmore is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) spanning the border between Delaware and Montgomery counties in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The population was 12,455 at the time of the 2010 census[3] and had risen to 13,566 in the 2020 census.[4]

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.[5] The Autocar Company moved its headquarters to Ardmore in 1899 and constructed a factory on the edge of the downtown area. The factory closed in 1954; during demolition in 1956, a major fire broke out that threatened the downtown area before it was extinguished. Today, Ardmore consistently ranks among the most desirable suburbs of Philadelphia.[6][7][8]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Ardmore has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.1 km2), all land.[3] Ardmore is adjacent to Wynnewood (east), Haverford (west), Gladwyne (north), and Havertown (southwest).[4]

Ardmore's downtown, primarily centered around Lancaster Ave, Rittenhouse Place, and Cricket Ave, is home to many shops, restaurants, and small businesses.[9] The western end of downtown features more traditional retail establishments, including the Ardmore West and Ardmore Plaza Shopping Centers. Similarly, the eastern portion of Ardmore along Lancaster Ave is home to several car dealerships, offices, and apartments, as well as the Wynnewood Plaza Shopping Center. Suburban Square, opened in 1928 as one of the earliest shopping centers in the United States, is located just north of the Ardmore train station.[10] Ardmore contained the nation's first suburban branch of a major department store, the former Strawbridge & Clothier which opened there in 1930;[11] the former Suburban movie theater—now Not Your Average Joe's Restaurant; the newly relocated Ardmore Farmer's Market; an Apple Store, and the usual selection of mall shops.

The Merion Golf Manor neighborhood, named for the adjacent Merion Golf Club, is roughly bounded by Ardmore Avenue to the north, Darby Road to the West, Hathaway Lane to the South, and the Norristown High Speed Line to the East. Another neighborhood in the Haverford Township portion of town is Ardmore Park, roughly bounded by Haverford Road to the South, Ardmore Avenue to the west, and County Line Road to the North. While originally developed and marketed as Ardmore Park, today it is more commonly referred to today as South Ardmore[12][13] (not to be confused with a separate housing development of the same name located in nearby Havertown).[14] This neighborhood is home to Normandy Park, Chestnutwold Elementary, and businesses along Haverford Road and County Line Road.

Residents from portions of southeastern 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.[15] The North Ardmore Civic Association represents residents of North Ardmore and Wynnewood north of Montgomery Avenue. The South Ardmore Betterment Alliance is a community group in the Haverford Township portion of Ardmore which organizes various community activities.[16][13]

There are several recreation areas, including Linwood Park, Normandy Park, the Ardmore Ice Skating Club, and Vernon V. Young Memorial Park (home to the Ardmore Ave Pool and the community center known as "The Shack").[15] South Ardmore Park is located in neighboring Wynnewood, and Merwood Park and Elwell Field are both adjacent to Ardmore.[17] The Ardmore Post Office and Ardmore Public Library (part of the Lower Merion Library System) are both found on Ardmore Ave, and the Merion Fire Company of Ardmore is located nearby on Greenfield Ave.

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.[18]


Ardmore's train station is served by SEPTA Regional Rail's Paoli/Thorndale Line (commuter) and Amtrak (intercity) passenger trains. Additionally, the Norristown High Speed Line runs through the Haverford Township portion of town, and Ardmore Junction, Wynnewood Road, and Ardmore Avenue stations are all within or adjacent to the boundaries of Ardmore.

A streetcar line built by the Ardmore and Llanerch Street Railway in 1902 once ran from the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby to a two-track terminal in downtown Ardmore, now the site of Schauffele Plaza. After the line was acquired by SEPTA in the 1960s, it was converted to a bus route. A section of the line, running alongside Pont Reading Creek and Hathaway Lane, was paved over and is now used by SEPTA as a private busway.[5]


Historical population
Ardmore train station sign from the PRR era
Drawing of Ardmore train station c. 1875
Listen to this article! From the article dated 2013-01-24
Lancaster Ave/US-30 runs through downtown Ardmore.

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.[21]

As of the census[22] of 2000, there were 12,616 people, 5,529 households, and 3,129 families residing in Ardmore. The population density was 6,588.5 inhabitants per square mile (2,543.8/km2). There were 5,711 housing units at an average density of 2,982.5 per square mile (1,151.5/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.

The Ardmore West Shopping Center


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), NBA Hall of Fame basketball player.

Eminent domain controversy[edit]

In 2004–2006, Ardmore's business district was the subject of a hotly contested eminent domain battle. A grassroots organization, the Save Ardmore Coalition, along with local businesses and other civic groups,[23] opposed an eminent domain/redevelopment program that would have involved the demolition of historic buildings, in favor of 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 the use of eminent domain for private projects.[24]

Ardmore Presbyterian Church[edit]

Ardmore Presbyterian Church, on an early postcard

The Ardmore Presbyterian Church is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church located at the corner of Montgomery Avenue and Mill Creek Road. The Gothic exterior of the church building is gray stone, with granite trim, and the interior is hardwood.[25] The original church, now the chapel, was constructed in 1910 following the 1907 establishment of the congregation, whose 50 members worshipped at the local Masonic Hall in the meantime.[25] The first service in the new building was held in September 1910.[25] The current sanctuary, designed by Thomas, Martin & Kirkpatrick,[26] was dedicated in 1924. Subsequent additions were built in 1931 and the 1950s.

J. Howard Pew served as ruling elder of the Ardmore Presbyterian Church beginning January 26, 1958.[27] Pew was president of the board of trustees of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation from 1936 to 1971.[28] When Pew's burial service was held in the church in 1971, the Rev. Billy Graham assisted the pastor, the Rev. William Faulds, with the service.[29]

Notable people[edit]



  1. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Census Population API". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Ardmore CDP, Pennsylvania". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Admore CDP, Pennsylvania". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Montgomery County: The Second Hundred Years - 1983 -2002". Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  6. ^ "15 Hottest Towns in Philadelphia's Western Suburbs". Main Line Today. February 14, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  7. ^ Volpe, Allie (March 23, 2021). "The Eight Most Exciting Suburbs Outside Philadelphia". Thrillist. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  8. ^ Doughty, Nate (July 28, 2020). "This Philadelphia suburb is the best place to live in America, ranking shows". Retrieved October 31, 2021. (ranked third)
  9. ^ admin. "Ardmore Initiative". Destination Ardmore. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
  10. ^ Jones, Dick, ed. The First Three Hundred: The Amazing and Rich History of Lower Merion. Ardmore: Lower Merion Historical Society, 2001.
  11. ^ Ibid.
  12. ^ "South Ardmore". I LIVE IN HARFORD. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  13. ^ a b South Ardmore Betterment Alliance. "South Ardmore Betterment Alliance | A Neighborhood Civic Association operating in Haverford Township, Delaware County". Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  14. ^ "1948 Edition". Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  15. ^ a b "Ardmore Progressive Civic Association". Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  16. ^ "Civic Associations". Lower Merion, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  17. ^ "Description of Township Parks". Lower Merion Township. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  18. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  19. ^ "DVRPC > Site Search". Archived from the original on April 9, 2019. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  20. ^ "Census 2020".
  21. ^ Census 2010: Pennsylvania. Usatoday.Com. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  22. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  23. ^ "Why the fuss about this block?". Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved November 19, 2008.
  24. ^ "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.
  25. ^ a b c "The First Presbyterian Church of Ardmore, Pa is Born", Minute for History, January 4, 2007
  26. ^ "Church". Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders Guide. 37: 497.[failed verification]
  27. ^ Pew, John Howard (1975). "Faith and Freedom: The Journal of a Great American, J. Howard Pew".
  28. ^ Douglas Brackenridge, R. (January 1999). The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation: A Bicentennial History, 1799-1999. ISBN 9780664500436.
  29. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 12, 2007. Retrieved January 13, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607–1896. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1963.
  31. ^ Michael L. Pedicine

External links[edit]

  • Ardmore Initiative, a business district authority responsible for physical and economic development in Ardmore
  • Save Ardmore Coalition, a 501(c)4 civic group which played a role in the eminent domain controversy
  • ArdWood Civic Association, a civic group which focuses on South Ardmore and parts of Wynnewood (surrounding South Ardmore Park)
  • South Ardmore Betterment Alliance, a civic group which focuses on southern Ardmore
  • First Friday, a 501(c)3 non-profit to bring art to the Main Line and revitalize the communities of Ardmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr