elmwood park philadelphia

Elmwood in Philadelphia

Elmwood Park, also known as Elmwood, is a neighborhood located in the Southwest section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Situated along the city line with Delaware County at Cobbs Creek, Elmwood Park boasts a rich history, diverse demographics, and a vibrant community spirit. In this article, we will delve into the unique characteristics that make Elmwood a special place to live, work, and visit.

Elmwood Park is a neighborhood that has experienced significant demographic shifts over the years. Historically, the area was predominantly inhabited by Poles and Irish Americans, who were organized around Catholic parishes established in the early to mid-20th century. However, the neighborhood has become more racially diverse as the white population has decreased and other communities have grown.

According to the 2000 census, Elmwood Park had a population of 27,329 people. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 31.15% White, 55.40% African American, 10.33% Asian, and 0.75% from other races. Hispanic or Latino individuals accounted for 2.25% of the population. It is worth noting that these statistics may have changed in recent years, reflecting the evolving nature of the community.


Education plays a vital role in the Elmwood Park neighborhood, with several educational institutions serving the community. The Free Library of Philadelphia operates the Paschalville Branch, located at 6942 Woodland Avenue, which provides valuable resources and services to Elmwood residents. Additionally, the Eastwick Branch, situated at 2581 Island Avenue, caters to the educational needs of Elmwood Park and surrounding subdivisions.

Historical Significance

Elmwood Park boasts several significant historical landmarks that have contributed to the neighborhood’s cultural heritage. The Thomas Buchanan Read School, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, stands as a testament to the area’s rich history. This school symbolizes the importance of education and serves as a reminder of Elmwood Park’s past.

Another notable historical monument in the neighborhood is the Labor Monument: Philadelphia’s Tribute to the American Worker. Created by artist John Kindness and commissioned by the Association for Public Art, this monument commemorates the contributions of organized labor nationwide. Installed in 2010 at the intersection of 71st Street and Buist Avenue, it serves as a source of pride for the community.

Community Development

Elmwood Park is a community that values development and progress. Over the years, various community organizations, local businesses, and residents have come together to enhance the neighborhood’s livability and foster a sense of unity. These efforts have resulted in improved infrastructure, the establishment of community centers, and initiatives that promote economic growth and social cohesion.

One such organization is the Elmwood Park Civic Association, which actively engages with residents and stakeholders to address local concerns and advocate for positive change. Through regular meetings, community events, and collaborative projects, the association plays a crucial role in strengthening the bond among Elmwood Park residents.


Transportation infrastructure is an essential aspect of any neighborhood, and Elmwood Park offers various options for commuters and residents alike. The Route 36 trolley runs along Elmwood Avenue, providing convenient access to different parts of the city. Additionally, a storage facility serves as an alternate terminus for the trolley, ensuring efficient transportation services for the community.

Parks and Recreation

Elmwood Park is known for its green spaces and recreational amenities, providing residents with opportunities for outdoor activities and leisure. The neighborhood is bordered by Cobbs Creek, which offers scenic walking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for fishing. These natural spaces serve as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life and provide a place for residents to connect with nature.

Cultural Attractions

Elmwood Park is home to various cultural attractions that celebrate the heritage and diversity of the community. Local events and festivals showcase the talents of residents and offer opportunities for cultural exchange. These vibrant celebrations bring people together, fostering a sense of unity and pride in the neighborhood.

Local Businesses and Economy

The Elmwood Park neighborhood has a thriving local business scene, contributing to the economic growth of the community. From small shops and restaurants to larger establishments, these businesses provide employment opportunities and services for residents. Supporting local businesses not only stimulates the local economy but also helps create a sense of community pride.

Real Estate and Housing

The area offers a range of housing options, including single-family homes, apartments, and townhouses. The neighborhood’s diverse housing stock caters to different lifestyles and budgets, making it an attractive place to live for individuals and families. The real estate market in Elmwood Park is dynamic, with opportunities for both buyers and renters.

Neighborhood Events and Festivals

The neighborhood hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, providing opportunities for residents to come together and celebrate their community. These events showcase the talents and diversity of the neighborhood, fostering a sense of pride and belonging. From cultural festivals to neighborhood clean-up drives, there is always something happening in Elmwood Park.

Elmwood Park, Philadelphia, is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood with a rich history and a strong sense of community spirit. From its diverse demographics to its educational institutions, historical landmarks, and cultural attractions, Elmwood Park offers residents and visitors a unique and vibrant place to live, work, and explore. With ongoing community development efforts and a commitment to preserving its heritage, Elmwood Park continues to evolve and thrive as a welcoming and inclusive neighborhood.