Spruce Hill, Philadelphia

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Spruce Hill
Dickens Statue in Clark Park in Spruce Hill
Dickens Statue in Clark Park in Spruce Hill
Spruce Hill is located in Philadelphia
Spruce Hill
Spruce Hill
Coordinates: Coordinates: 39°57′14″N 75°12′36″W / 39.954°N 75.210°W / 39.954; -75.210
Country United States
CountyPhiladelphia County
Area code(s)Area code 215
Chestnut Street Baptist Church and Ternacle Baptist Church. (4017 Chestnut Street) Recently purchased by West Park Church of Deliverance.

Spruce Hill is a neighborhood in the University City section of West Philadelphia. It is between 40th and 46th streets, and it stretches from Market Street south to Woodland Avenue. With a population of over 16,000, it is a racially and ethnically diverse part of the city where much historic architecture is preserved.

It was built as a streetcar suburb for Center City between 1850 and 1910.[1] Among its most prominent developers was financier Clarence Howard Clark Sr. (1833 – 1906), who built dozens of rowhouses, donated land for the Walnut Street West Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, settled a tax assessment by founding the 9.1-acre Clark Park, and established his mansion on the grassy block that today holds the Penn Alexander public elementary school.[2]

Ethnic restaurants on 42nd and Chestnut

A statue of Charles Dickens, cast in 1890 by Francis Edwin Elwell, stands in Clark Park; it is one of just two known statues of the author.[3]


The School District of Philadelphia operates Penn Alexander School and the Paul Robeson High School for Human Services. The Spruce Hill Christian elementary and middle school is on Baltimore Avenue. The University of Pennsylvania campus extends into Spruce Hill and the University of the Sciences campus is also in the neighborhood.

Public libraries[edit]

Walnut Street West Branch

The Free Library of Philadelphia Walnut Street West Branch serves Spruce Hill.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ West Philadelphia Streetcar Suburb Historic District, UCHS
  2. ^ Peniston, Bradley (January 16, 2014). "What's In A Name: Clark Park". Hidden City Daily. Hidden City Philadelphia. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  3. ^ Malkin, Bonnie (14 March 2011). "Rare Charles Dickens statue restored to Sydney park after 40 years missing". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  4. ^ "Walnut Street West Branch." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on October 19, 2012.

External links[edit]