West Oak Lane, Philadelphia

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West Oak Lane
Neighborhood of Philadelphia
John L. Kinsey School in West Oak Lane, September 2010
John L. Kinsey School in West Oak Lane, September 2010
Country  United States
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia County
City Philadelphia
Area code(s) Area code 215

West Oak Lane is a neighborhood in the Upper Northern section of Philadelphia. It is located south of Cheltenham, Montgomery County, northeast of the East Germantown neighborhood in Philadelphia, north of the Ogontz/Belfield neighborhood of Philadelphia, west of the East Oak Lane neighborhood in Philadelphia, and east of the Cedarbrook/Stenton neighborhood in Philadelphia. 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,[1] 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 neighborhood is known throughout the city for its jazz festival. The West Oak Lane Jazz Festival has been held in mid-June since 2003.[2]

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-percent increase over the median price in 2004. The median home sale price as of April 2015 was $122,941, which was a 1.2% percent increase from the previous year.[3]


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.[4] 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 and 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, and 66th Avenue.


Many stores are on West Oak Lane and Ogontz Avenue. Cheltenham Mall is at the end of Ogontz Avenue; the Cedarbrook Plaza mall is only five minutes away by car or bus.


According to Citydata.com, in 2013 there were 42,390 people living in the area, with a population density of 24,517 people per square mile.[5] The average household income was $41,275, and the average amount of rent paid per month was $708. There were 18,298 males and 24,626 females. The median age for males was 36.6 years, and the median age for females was 43.0 years. The average household had 2.8 people, and 27.1% of households were married couple families. 24.7% of households were single mother households. 26.9% of residents 15 and older had never been married at all. 6.2% of people living in the area were born in a foreign country.

The neighborhood has a lower income than 62.8% of neighborhoods in the US. 11.5% of children living in the area live in poverty, which is lower than 62.8% of neighborhoods in the country.[6] In addition, 31.4% of the population works in executive, management, and professional occupations; 28.2% work service jobs, 22.9% have clerical, assistant, and tech support occupations, and 17.9% have jobs in manufacturing and laborer occupations.

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Coordinates: 40°03′35″N 75°08′45″W / 40.0598°N 75.1457°W / 40.0598; -75.1457