Situated in Delaware County, Lansdowne is a historical borough that combines small-town charm with a tight-knit community. Located just 6 minutes southwest of the city center of Philadelphia, the borough of Lansdowne sits at just over 1 square mile—but don’t be fooled by its small size. This area features no shortage of things to do, see, and explore for people of all ages.
No matter if you’re planning a big move to Lansdowne, or you simply want to learn more about its rich history, this essential guide will help you get to know this countryside staple of Pennsylvania.
The History of Lansdowne
While Lansdowne was incorporated as a borough in 1893, its history dates all the way back to the 1600s. When Europeans first arrived in the 17th century, the Lenape (or Delaware Tribe) called the area home. In 1682, however, William Penn opened the area to European settlement, and it was named “Lansdowne” after the English estate of Lord Lansdowne. After settlement, Lansdowne became an agricultural community that persisted well into the 19th century.
From 1850 to 1881, the Philadelphia and West Chester Railroad laid two tracks through the Lansdowne area, which facilitated new economic possibilities and passenger travel. During this time period, Lansdowne experienced major growth. With Victorian homes being built, as well as businesses popping up around the train station, Lansdowne began its journey to the thriving borough it is today.
Lansdowne in the Modern Age
From its rich architectural heritage to its shops, restaurants, and schools, the Lansdowne we know today is a wonderful place to visit or call home. Below, you can find information on things like Lansdowne’s cost of living, school districts, neighborhoods, things to do, and more.
Cost of Living
Overall, Lansdowne’s cost of living—including groceries, health care, transportation, and utilities—sits just above the national average. However, housing costs sit below the national average, with the median home price around $164,400. Additionally, the average cost of rent in Lansdowne is slightly higher than the national average, as well as averages in the Philadelphia metro area.
Lansdowne (including East Lansdowne, Yeadon, Aldan, Colwyn, and Darby) is located in the William Penn School District (WPSD). The WPSD has schools located in each municipality, but Lansdowne is home to the district’s administration building, the district’s only High School (William Penn High School), and Ardmore Elementary, one of the WPSD’s three elementary schools.
In general, Lansdowne is broken up into three main neighborhoods or areas, including:
- Borough Center
- North Lansdowne Avenue/East Greenwood Avenue
- West Baltimore Avenue/Mansfield Road
While each neighborhood falls under the same 19050 zip code, all three feature unique characteristics and quirks.
The borough center, for example, is a more urban area due to its population density. It’s also primarily made up of studio to two-bedroom apartments, three- to four-bedroom townhomes, and a wide selection of apartments and high rises. This area also features a wide range of ethnic diversity, an abundance of row houses, and an eclectic community.
North Lansdowne Avenue to East Greenwood Avenue is still a densely populated area, but it is primarily made up of small- to medium-sized apartments and single-family homes. Within proximity to Delaware County Community College and the University of Pennsylvania, many college students call this area home—especially due to its walkability and public transportation options.
West Baltimore Avenue to Mansfield Road is also a densely populated area with small- to medium-sized apartments and single-family homes, with most of the residential real estate being owner-occupied. Many of the homes in this area are historic, as they were built in the early 1900s.
What to Do in Lansdowne
While Lansdowne may be small, it features plenty of activities and experiences the whole family can enjoy. Residents and visitors alike can walk along Lansdowne’s wide tree-lined streets, viewing the area’s historic Victorian homes while heading into the center of the borough.
On Lansdowne Avenue, you can find a plethora of shops, restaurants, and local businesses that make the area unique. On Baltimore Avenue—which is a major east-to-west roadway connecting Lansdowne and Delaware County neighborhoods—is also a popular shopping destination that moves through the heart of the borough.
Lansdowne is also home to the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, which is a large ensemble that has held performances in the area for over 50 years. Additionally, Lansdowne is host to many cultural events, including:
- Lansdowne Folk Club
- Lansdowne Farmers Market
- "Rhyme, Rhythm, and Reason" poetry readings
- Film Screenings at Vinyl Revival
- Arts on the Avenue Festival
- Arts & Craft Show
- A Bit of the Arts Holiday Art Sale
- Lansdowne 5k Harvest Run
- 20*20 House Art Gallery
- Historic Lansdowne Theater
- Ballroom Dancing events
- Yoga studios
Lansdowne is also proud to offer eleven recreational parks, with one that includes a 400-year-old Sycamore Tree germinated in the 1600s.
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