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Gladwyne

Originally settled in 1682, there were 24 mills operating along Mill Creek by the 20th century and in the 1960s I-76 ushered in a new era of up-and-coming builders and new residents.

At a Glance

BOUNDARIES

Gladwyne has a total area of 4.9 square miles - all land. It is primarily rollin gills in topography; and maintains the zip code 19035.

LINKS

FURTHER READING

Overview

Gladwyne is a suburban community in Montgomery County along the historic Philadelphia Main Line. This community is neither an incorporated area nor a census-designated place.

There are four churches, a synagogue, a library, two schools, the Gladwyne fire company, the Gladwyne Civic Association, the Stony Lane Swim Club, playgrounds, parks, businesses, and retail shops within the confines of Gladwyne. The historic Guard House Inn is also located within Gladwyne.The village is also home to the Philadelphia Country Club on its periphery, Merion Cricket Club, and to The Courts a private tennis club. Because the town was early to preserve space and has received many donations of land, developers have not subdivided the area into more typical suburban developments, so the area retains a mixture of farm, colonial town, and late 19th/early 20th housing uncharacteristic of other Main Line communities.

Banker James Crosby Brown of Brown Brothers & Co. built a 185-acre estate that later was divided into non-divisible (deed-restricted) lots of three to 17 acres, an early act of (partial) preservation that set an important precedent for future acts by both individuals and the township. The Lower Merion Conservancy plays a significant role in protecting the local heritage and maintains its office in Gladwyne’s Rolling Hill Park.

The development of the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) in the 1960s and the subsequent development of King of Prussia as a major business center increased Gladwyne’s appeal, as it was the Main Line town situated closest to the Expressway and midway between King of Prussia and Center City Philadelphia. The Gladwyne Elementary School was built in 1958 to accommodate the children of these new residents and the Gladwyne FreeLibrary was renovated and expanded as well. Yet the core of the village, built originally at the convergence of Youngsford and Righter’s Mill Roads during the latter part of the eighteenth century, remained essentially the same, allowing Gladwyne to retain all of its original historic character and at the same time enjoy the conveniences of modern suburban living, such as a centrally located supermarket with ample parking, pharmacy, tavern, and restaurants.