Mount Airy was named for wealthy colonial merchant William Allen's long-demolished summerhouse. The area's portion of Germantown Avenue contains churches for new middle-class congregations by architects such as Rankin and Kellogg. They designed the antihierarchical auditorium-plan building for the First United Methodist Church of Germantown (1896) at 6023 Germantown Avenue. Southwest of Wissahickon Avenue, Mount Airy was more of a conventional estate neighborhood with large houses, some of remarkable architectural interest. Frank Furness's c. 1880 additions to the John Welsh house, “Spring Bank,” at the 6700 block of Wissahickon Avenue, was the earliest of the large houses.
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