West Chester, Pennsylvania
Location of West Chester in Pennsylvania
|• Mayor||Carolyn Comitta|
|• Total||1.8 sq mi (5 km2)|
|• Land||1.8 sq mi (5 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||446 ft (136 m)|
|• Density||10,000/sq mi (4,000/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP Codes||19380-19383, 19388|
|Area code(s)||484, 610|
West Chester University of Pennsylvania is located in the borough. Valley Forge, the Brandywine Battlefield, Marsh Creek State Park, and other historical attractions are nearby, as are Longwood Gardens, the Brandywine River Museum, and Christian C. Sanderson Museum.
The area was originally known as Turk's Head — after the inn of the same name located in what is now the center of the borough. West Chester has been the seat of government in Chester County since 1786, and the borough incorporated in 1799. In the heart of town is its courthouse, a classical revival building designed in the 1840s by Thomas U. Walter, one of the architects for the Capitol in Washington, D.C. In the 18th century West Chester was a center of clockmaking. In the late 19th century the Hoopes, Bro. and Darlington company became a major wheelworks, first for wagons and later automobiles. In the early 20th century, an important industry was the Sharples cream separator company. In the late 20th century, Commodore International, one of the pioneers of home computers, giving its headquarters as West Chester, was located approximately a mile northeast of the borough.
The West Chester Downtown Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Other listed buildings are the Bank of Chester County, Buckwalter Building, Butler House, Chester County Courthouse, William Everhart Buildings, Farmers and Mechanics Building, First Presbyterian Church of West Chester, New Century Clubhouse, Joseph Rothrock House, Sharples Homestead, Sharples Separator Works, Warner Theater, West Chester Boarding School for Boys, and the components of the West Chester State College Quadrangle Historic District.
West Goshen Township borders West Chester to the north, south, and east, while East Bradford Township borders West Chester to the west. The borough straddles the Brandywine Creek and Chester Creek watersheds. It is located 25 miles (40 km) west of Philadelphia and 17 miles (27 km) north of Wilmington, Delaware.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.8 square miles (5 km2), all of it land.
As with much of Eastern Pennsylvania east of the Appalachian mountains, West Chester straddles the humid continental (Köppen: Dfa ) and humid subtropical (Köppen: Cfa ) climate zones, with generally more characteristics of the former than the latter. Summers are hot and humid and winters are cold but variable. Annual high temperatures average between 39.0 °F (3.9 °C) and 85.4 °F (29.7 °C), annual low temperatures average between 22.2 °F (−5.4 °C) and 64.4 °F (18.0 °C), with the record high being 105 °F (41 °C), and record low being −16 °F (−27 °C).
|Climate data for West Chester, Pennsylvania|
|Average high °C (°F)||3.9
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.4
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||89
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||18
|Source: Weatherbase |
At the 2010 census, the borough was 72.1% non-Hispanic White, 12.1% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.4% Asian, and 2.4% were two or more races. 13.4% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,861 people, 6,265 households, and 2,662 families residing in the borough. The population density was 9,703.3 people per square mile (3,747.9/km²). There were 6,541 housing units at an average density of 3,553.5 per square mile (1,372.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 75.44% White, 17.08% Black, 3.64% from other races, 1.46% Asian, 0.31% Native American, 0.07% Pacific Islander, and 2.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 8.94%.
There were 6,265 households, 19.1% of which had children under the age of 18 living in them, 26.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 57.5% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the borough the population was spread out with 13.4% under the age of 18, 37.7% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 13.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.7 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $37,803, and the median income for a family was $51,018. Males had a median income of $35,540, versus $30,819 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,073. About 9.8% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 9.2% of those age 65 or over.
Corporate headquarters include:
- Commodore Business Machines (CBM), the operational headquarters of Commodore International (now defunct)
- Communications Test Design, Inc. (CTDI), Engineering, repair, and logistics for telecommunications equipment
- Mars Drinks, maker of Flavia Beverage Systems
- VWR International (Lab and Scientific supplies distributor)
- Synthes (Medical company)
- Economy.com, part of Moody's Analytics
QVC has its headquarters and television studios in West Goshen Township, near West Chester. It is located in the same buildings that were once the corporate headquarters of Commodore International. Electronics Boutique, when it existed as an independent company, had its headquarters in West Goshen Township, in proximity to West Chester.
Culture and media
The West Chester Public Library has provided library services to area residents since 1872. It currently has a collection of 50,000 items and receives 110,000 visits every year. The Francis Harvey Green Library on the university campus has additional collections.
The Daily Local News is a daily newspaper headquartered in West Chester that covers Chester County events. The Quad is the student-run newspaper of West Chester University. Beginning in 1932, it covers not only campus events but also regional and national news. Radio station WCUR broadcasts from the borough and is managed by university students.
- Samuel Barber, musical composer
- Dave Barry, newspaper columnist
- Nick Berg, murdered hostage
- Eric Bernotas, skeleton athlete, coach and double Winter Olympian
- Tom Bostelle, painter and sculptor
- Norman Braman, former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles football team
- Smedley Butler, United States Marine Corp, two time Medal of Honor recipient and anti-war activist
- CKY, alternative metal band
- Camp Kill Yourself Crew, also known as the CKY Crew, group of skateboarders and stuntmen
- Henry Conner, member of the Wisconsin State Senate
- George Cope (artist), painter
- William Darlington, botanist and United States House of Representatives member
- Ryan Dunn, actor, stuntman
- Jim Furyk, professional golfer
- Kyle Gallner, actor
- Philip Gosselin, Major League baseball player
- Joseph Hemphill, United States House of Representatives member, practiced law in West Chester
- Joseph Hergesheimer, novelist
- Anna Jarvis, founder of the Mother's Day holiday in the United States
- Bruce Larkin, children's book author
- Sebastien Le Toux, professional soccer player, residing
- John Lilley, guitarist
- April Margera, reality television personality
- Bam Margera, professional skateboarder and actor
- Jess Margera, drummer
- Phil Margera, reality television personality
- Vincent Margera, also known as "Don Vito", former reality television personality
- Brandon DiCamillo, actor and stuntman
- Matisyahu, reggae musician
- Jon Matlack, Major League Baseball pitcher
- Charlie McDermott, actor
- Muffet McGraw, women's basketball coach
- Matthew McGrory, actor
- Ryan Nassib, National Football League quarterback
- Brandon Novak, professional skateboarder, actor and stuntman
- Sean O'Hair, Professional golfer
- Kevin Orie, Major League Baseball player
- Glen Osbourne, professional wrestler
- Horace Pippin, painter
- Chris Raab, actor, stuntman, member of the CKY Crew
- David M. Rodriguez, General, U.S. Army Forces Command
- Graham Rogers, actor
- Joseph Rothrock, botanist and environmentalist, died in West Chester in 1922
- Bayard Rustin, civil rights activist
- Matt Schaub, National Football League quarterback
- Bud Sharpe, Major League Baseball player
- Kerr Smith, actor
- Noel Jan Tyl, opera singer and astrologer
- Theobald Wolfe Tone, Irish Republican
- Washington Townsend, United States House of Representatives member
- Geralyn Wolf, Episcopal bishop
- Rake Yohn, actor, member of the CKY Crew, stuntman, chemist
- Richard Zobel, actor
The main east-west road to West Chester is West Chester Pike, which begins in Upper Darby, Delaware County, just outside of Philadelphia, and is part of PA 3. The West Chester Pike originally existed as a private turnpike connecting Philadelphia and West Chester between 1850 and 1918, at which time it became a public road. In West Chester, PA 3 follows Market Street eastbound and Gay Street westbound. The main north-south road in West Chester is High Street. To the north of town, the road is known as Pottstown Pike, which connects to PA 100 in Exton (PA 100 formerly ran through town). To the south of town, the road is known as Wilmington-West Chester Pike (US 202 and US 322). US 202 and US 322 both bypass the center of West Chester on the limited-access West Chester Bypass, with US 202 heading northeast to King of Prussia and south to Wilmington, Delaware and US 322 heading northwest to Downingtown and southeast to Chester. US 322 Business passes through West Chester along Hannum Avenue, Chestnut and Market streets, and South High Street. Other state routes serving West Chester include PA 162 and PA 842, which head west towards Unionville, and PA 52, which heads southwest towards Kennett Square.
West Chester is home to the West Chester Transportation Center, which serves as a parking garage for the Chester County Justice Center and a bus terminal, which is located on the lower level of the facility. Two of SEPTA's suburban bus routes serve West Chester. The Route 92 bus connects West Chester to the Exton Square Mall and the King of Prussia Mall while the Route 104 bus runs between West Chester University and the 69th Street Transportation Center, mostly following West Chester Pike. The Route 104 bus replaced a trolley service that connected West Chester to Philadelphia along the West Chester Pike between 1898 and the 1950s. West Chester is also served by the Transportation Association of Chester County's SCCOOT, which provides service to Kennett Square and Oxford, and Krapf's Transit's Route A, which provides service to Exton, Downingtown, and Coatesville.
Until September 1986, West Chester was served by SEPTA's R3 commuter rail line, then known as the Media/West Chester line. Service on the line was discontinued because of poor track conditions west of the Elwyn station. At the time, SEPTA had limited funds for the necessary repairs, and offered Chester County the option of either improving the rail line or expanding parking availability at the nearby Exton station on SEPTA's Paoli/Thorndale Line. The county opted for the latter and service on the line was cut back to its current terminus of Elwyn. The rail line into West Chester is used by the West Chester Railroad, a heritage railroad.
West Chester in media
- Many of the skits on the MTV television series Jackass, and later Jackass: The Movie, were filmed in and around the borough, primarily ones featuring Bam Margera and the CKY Crew. The spin-off shows Viva La Bam and Bam's Unholy Union were filmed almost entirely in the area, as was the movie Haggard and the CKY videos.
- A documentary, Our Lady Of Victory, later released as "The Mighty Macs", filmed many scenes in and around West Chester, including Jimmy Johns, and the Armory Building.
- Marley & Me, starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, filmed scenes in West Chester in 2008.
The borough is governed by the town council form of government. Led by the Borough Manager, there are seven council members each representing one of the seven voting wards. The council controls all departments except the Police Department (the Mayor directs Police Department activities through the Chief of Police). The mayor and council members are directly elected by borough voters. In January 2010, Carolyn Comitta took office as the borough's 58th Mayor. In succeeding the term-limited incumbent, Republican Dick Yoder, Comitta became West Chester's first ever female Mayor, and the first Democrat to hold the office since 1992.
West Chester Area School District manages the area's public school system, which includes three high schools (Henderson High School, West Chester East High School, Rustin High School), three middle schools (J.R. Fugett Middle School, E.N. Peirce Middle School, G.A. Stetson Middle school), and ten elementary schools (East Bradford Elementary, East Goshen Elementary, Exton Elementary, Fern Hill Elementary, Glen Acres Elementary, Hillsdale Elementary, Mary C. Howse Elementary, Penn Wood Elemetary, Sarah W. Starkweather Elementary, Westtown-Thornbury Elementary). West Chester University is located in the borough, south of the commercial and retail center.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to West Chester, Pennsylvania.|
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "West Chester, Pennsylvania". Thebrandywine.com. July 26, 2001. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- Enter your Company or Top-Level Office (January 19, 2011). "Chester County: Courthouse History". Dsf.chesco.org. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- West Chester, past and present: centennial souvenir with celebration proceedings. Daily Local News, West Chester, PA. 1899. p. 125.
- "Keeping the wheels turning in West Chester". Daily Local News. Retrieved February 14, 2012.
- "Cream Separators Page 2". Dairyantiques.com. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "Watersheds of Chester County". Chester County. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
- Climate Summary for West Chester, Pennsylvania
- "West Chester, Pennsylvania Travel Weather Averages". Weatherbase. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on October 24, 2013.
- "Number of Inhabitants: Pennsylvania" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "Pennsylvania: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Copeland, Larry (10 March 2011). "Philadelphia gains, Pittsburgh shrinks in population". USA Today.
- McGann, Mike (July 18, 2013). "Chamber touts benefits of social capital". Coatsville Timers. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- "Directions to QVC Studio Park." QVC. Retrieved on August 11, 2010.
- "West Goshen township, Chester County, Pennsylvania." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on August 11, 2010.
- Moran, Sarah E. "County jobless rate worsens." Daily Local News. Tuesday November 1, 2005. Retrieved on August 11, 2010.
- "Contact." Electronic Boutique. June 11, 2004. Retrieved on August 11, 2010. "931 South Matlack St. West Chester, PA 19382."
- "Corporate Office Positions." Electronic Boutique. June 9, 2001. Retrieved on August 11, 2010.
- Kostelni, Natalie (2014-06-20). "West Chester shopping center sells for $35.7M". Philadelphia Business Journal.
- "Short History" (PDF). West Chester Public Library. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- "Library Services". West Chester University. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- "Daily Local News". Daily Local News. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- "The Quad: About". The Quad. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- "91.7 WCUR The Curve". WCUR. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
- Broder, Nathan. Samuel Barber, p. 9-10. New York: G. Schirmer, 1954. Reprinted, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1985. ISBN 0-313-24984-9.
- "Eric Bernotas". Eurosport. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
- "About This Artwork". Collections. Art Institute Chicago. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- "DARLINGTON, William, (1782–1863)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- "HEMPHILL, Joseph, (1770–1842)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- Larrabee, Kevin. "Hergesheimer, Joseph". pabook.libraries.psu.edu. Penn State University. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- "Charlie McDermott...Bio". website. Charlie McDermott. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
- "Matt's Bio". Matt Schaub. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
- Chester County, Pennsylvania (Map) (17th ed.). 1"=2000'. ADC Map. 2006. ISBN 0-87530-778-7.
- Edgcumbe, Stephen J. (2012). West Chester Pike. Images of America. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 8. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- Public Transportation Serving Chester County (PDF) (Map). Transportation Management Association of Chester County. 2012. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
- "Marley & Me Filming in West Chester". chestercountymoms.com. Retrieved October 16, 2010.
- Kristie, Dan (January 11, 2010). "For Yoder, being mayor was 'a thrill'". The Daily Local News. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
- Showalter, Connor (January 5, 2010). "Comitta becomes borough's 1st female mayor". The Daily Local News. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
- Borough of West Chester
- West Chester Life Magazine
- West Chester Daily Local News
- West Chester Area School District
- West Chester news from the Philadelphia Inquirer
|County seat of Chester County
||Downingtown||Exton||King of Prussia, Philadelphia|
|Coatesville||Newtown Square, Upper Darby|
|Kennett Square||Wilmington||Concordville, Chester|