Mount Airy incorporates one of the region's largest planned developments, the Drexel Company's Pelham. It merged rail commuting with retail along Germantown Avenue in one of the more successful suburban plans. Constructed in the mid-1890s on the grounds of drug manufacturer George Carpenter's estate Phil-Ellena, it replaced the immense Greek Revival mansion of 1840 by Thomas Ustick Walter. From the Flemish-gabled shops at Germantown Avenue by William L. Price to the Flemish-styled and Colonial Revival houses of Carpenter's Lane, Pelham Road, and southwest to the Upsal Station, it is a compendium of contemporary historic styles by the stable of young architects employed by developers Wendell and Smith on behalf of the giant Drexel Bank. Pelham and its near twin for the same developers, Overbrook at City Line and Lancaster avenues in West Philadelphia, are evidence of the rising wealth of Philadelphia's managerial revolution of the 1880s.
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