Cedarbrook: The History and Development of this Philadelphia Neighborhood

Cedarbrook, a fascinating neighborhood located in the Northwest region of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is an area that carries a rich history, vibrant culture, and a diverse community. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the various aspects of this Philadelphia neighborhood, including its history, geography, demographics, real estate, and more.

Cedarbrook is a rectangular-shaped neighborhood neatly bordered by Cheltenham Avenue to the northeast, Ivy Hill Road to the northwest, Stenton Avenue to the southwest, and Washington Lane to the southeast. It shares its city limit with Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County, Wyndmoor, Springfield Township, Montgomery County, East Mount Airy, and West Oak Lane.

Historical Background

Sheltering two historical cemeteries – Ivy Hill Cemetery and Holy Sepulchre Cemetery – Cedarbrook has a rich historical background. The Ivy Hill Cemetery, the neighborhood’s geographical heart, was established back in 1867 when the area was still woods and farmland. Later, the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery was opened in 1894 by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. These cemeteries are the final resting places of many notable personalities, adding to the historical significance of the area.


As of the 2000 US Census, Cedarbrook was home to a population of 25,274. The community had a diverse racial composition with a significant percentage of Black or African-American residents, followed by Whites, Alaskan or Native Americans, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders, and others. The neighborhood also had a small percentage of Hispanic or Latino residents.

Real Estate Scenario

The real estate scene in Cedarbrook is quite interesting. The median real estate price stands at $234,117, making it more expensive than nearly half of the neighborhoods in Pennsylvania. The residential real estate primarily consists of medium-sized to small townhomes and small apartment buildings, most of which were built between 1940 and 1999. The neighborhood has a lower-than-average vacancy rate, indicating a high demand for real estate.

Cultural Diversity

Cedarbrook is a culturally diverse neighborhood, with a significant number of residents having Jamaican and African ancestry. It’s a unique place where people of different ancestries coexist, contributing to a shared culture and learned behavior that gives the neighborhood its distinct character.


About 17.9% of Cedarbrook residents are enrolled in college. The neighborhood is served by the Philadelphia City School District, with several public schools. There are also several private and religious educational institutes within the community, providing a range of educational opportunities for the residents.

Local Amenities

Cedarbrook offers various local amenities to its residents, including the Cedarbrook Plaza Shopping Center and the Wadsworth Branch Library. These facilities cater to the shopping and informational needs of the community, respectively, providing a one-stop shopping experience and a range of library services.


Cedarbrook has an efficient transportation system, with a large number of residents commuting by bus. Carpooling is also popular in the neighborhood. This efficient transportation system contributes to the livability of the area.


A significant number of Cedarbrook residents are employed in clerical, assistant, and tech support occupations, followed by executive, management, and professional positions. The neighborhood also has residents working in sales and service jobs, and in manufacturing and laborer occupations.

Language and Ethnicity

English is the most common language spoken in Cedarbrook, with a small percentage of residents speaking African languages. The neighborhood has a diverse ethnic composition, with residents identifying their ethnicity or ancestry as Jamaican, Sub-Saharan African, African, and others.

Most Cedarbrook residents have a commute time of between 30 and 45 minutes. The majority of residents drive alone to work, while a significant number also carpool or use the bus for their daily commute.

Cedarbrook is a neighborhood that blends history, culture, and modern living. It offers a diverse community, a range of amenities, and a robust real estate market, making it a unique and attractive place to live in Philadelphia.