Relocating to the Philadelphia Area: Gladwyne
If you are considering moving to the Philadelphia area, you may not know exactly where you’d like to live–what about Gladwyne? If you think the Main Line (the north western suburbs of Philadelphia offering charming architecture, great schools and what many consider a superb quality of life) sounds like a good fit for you, you should definitely explore Gladwyne. It is one of the oldest of the Main Line towns and a little off the beaten track. Because it is not one of the towns built along Lancaster Avenue, it doesn’t have many retail or dining options, but it offers a completely non-commercial experience, which other communities cannot. Yet, while not in the heart of the rest of the Main Line, access to center city couldn’t be easier, either with a directly Gladwyne entrance and exit to the expressway (route 76).
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Gladwyne is a bit different than most of the other Main Line partly because it is the only one without its own train station (though the Ardmore and Byrn Mawr stations are not far). It has a feeling of being a little frozen in time. Not that it feels dated or shabby; rather that the streets and houses have a genteel, “yesteryear” kind of quality to them. There is a tiny town center, aptly referred to as Gladwyne Village. Here you’ll find a gas station, post office, grocery store, library, pharmacy, upscale food shop and a hardware store. There are also some areas of Gladwyne that feel like they could be 100 miles from the nearest city and Riverbend Envrionmental Center and the Bridlewild Trails are prime examples.
Gladwyne: What it’s like to live here
Gladwyne appeals to people who want to live undisturbed by noise, traffic and the hustle and bustle of typical suburbia. Residents would prefer to travel a few minutes to reach retail or service or dining destinations if it means living in such a peaceful, purely residential community. Many homes here are quite old, with features like dumbwaiters or servants’ bells, so there is a historic charm not always evident elsewhere. There are some enormous estates in Gladwyne, but there are also less grand homes. That said, Gladwyne is one of the most expensive Main Line communities as far as housing prices are concerned.
While there aren’t as many defined neighborhoods in Gladwyne as in some other Main Line areas, there are a few distinct sections. For example, at the far northern border, you’ll find Wesleys Run, which is a newer development of stucco homes perched on a hillside. Around the corner is a large neighborhood across from the Philadelphia Country Club. These homes comprise the most family friendly, “neighborhood-y” area in Gladwyne and are always in demand. The streets intersecting Conshohocken State Rd. (Route 23) are most representative of Gladwyne in terms of houses and neighborhoods. You’ll find many large, stone, brick or old stucco homes here that sit on their properties in a very settled way, like they grew out of the ground. There are also some newer homes, scattered here and there, as well as Fenimore, a collection of very high-end, large homes that were built on the grounds of an enormous estate that was subdivided by a developer.
If you are relocating to the Philadelphia/Main Line area, please go to my relocation tab. If you’d like to and read other blog entries related to relocation, please scroll down a couple of lines and click on RELOCATION (to the right of FILED UNDER). Thanks!