Belmont Village

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1900 – 1950
The area around present day Belmont Village including Overbrook, Wynnfield and Wynnfield Heights was referred to as “Blockley” on early maps and remained largely undeveloped until the turn of the century. By the time the earliest building appear in the area it had been renamed Belmont Village. The earliest buildings constructed were major intuitions, followed by the Pennsylvania Schuylkill Valley Railroad which expanded service to the area around 1895.

The earliest residential properties were built in Belmont Village starting in the 1920s. By roughly 1942 almost all the homes of present day Belmont Village were constructed. A majority of the neighborhood was developed and built by John H. McClatchy, who built many of the Spanish Revival inspired homes along Conshohocken Ave. A sidewalk plaque with his name can still be found today in front of many of the homes.

1950 – 2000
The neighborhood remained strongly middle class through the end of World War II and was referred to as the ‘Golden Mile’ for the level of sophisticated shopping and dining found along City Line Avenue. Its park-like setting nestled between Fairmount Park, the Belmont Reservoir (Interstate 76 was not yet constructed) and its proximity to both the Main Line and Center City made Belmont Village an attractive place to live.

The ‘Golden Mile’ days did not last, and over-development and poor zoning turned City Line Avenue into a series of strip malls. Apartment complexes began to encroach the country-like tranquility that previously existed in Belmont Village. The surrounding neighborhoods also began to struggle. Belmont Village still remained predominantly middle class through the shifting of neighborhood demographics (the population changed from mostly Jewish to mostly African America) and continued to fight the negative influences of the surrounding communities.

2000 – Present
Belmont Village is comprised of only eleven streets and features a relatively wide variety of housing styles. It is a small, mostly residential neighborhood that has benefited from both its geographic isolation and proximity to the Main Line. The housing stock of the neighborhood is approaching 90 years of age. Many of the original architectural features that make this neighborhood unique are in need of repair.

Resources

City Avenue Business District

Belmont Village is a neighborhood located in West Philadelphia. It is bounded by City Avenue to the north, Belmont Avenue to the east, and the grounds of the Bala Golf Club to the west and the south.