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City Line Avenue

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U.S. 1
From Lancaster Ave. to Monument Rd.

The boundary between Philadelphia and Montgomery County remains an important architectural center. In the nineteenth century, it was the site of great mansions—built to take advantage of large properties. In the early twentieth century, many of these mansions were adapted to serve as institutions. Horace Trumbauer's elegant early-twentieth-century Colonial Revival Green Hill Farms Hotel, now Eastern College, a Baptist seminary, marks the gateway to the suburb at Lancaster Avenue; its Colonial Revival chapel dates from 1950. Farther northeast at Berwick Road adjacent to the former home of Episcopal Academy, now the Maguire Campus of St. Joseph's University, is William L. Price's Gothic Revival house “Kelty” (1899), which for a long time was the home of author Chaim Potok. A complex of mansions once stood near here, including Price's spectacular house for John Gilmore (1900; c. 1972 demolished), which served as the Upper School of Episcopal Academy after it moved to that property in the 1920s. Just to the east on the Philadelphia side of City Line Avenue at 56th Street is St. Joseph's University, which moved from North Philadelphia in the vicinity of the Church of the Gesu to new Academic Gothic buildings designed in 1925 by F. Ferdinand Durang, son and successor to Edwin Forrest Durang's firm. Two of Philadelphia's television stations have been located at Monument Road. On the Montgomery County side is the elegantly severe WCAU, the joint work of Robert F. Bishop and George Howe, while the rounded facade of WPVI at 4100 City Line Avenue was the work of the most successful of the post–World War II modernists, Vincent G. Kling and Associates (1967; demolished 2009).

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "City Line Avenue", [Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 188-189.

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