The Vibrant Community of Ogontz

Ogontz is a dynamic neighborhood situated in the Upper Northern area of Philadelphia. It shares its boundaries with West Oak Lane, East Germantown, Logan, and Fern Rock. The area is known for its rich history, education facilities, public libraries, and recreational centers.

Historical Background

The name of the area is derived from a Native American chieftain. The area is divided into Belfield and Ogontz, with Belfield located near Chelten and Olney Avenues, Wister Street, and Ogontz Avenue. The Belfield name comes from the famous Belfield Mansion.

The neighborhood extends from Ogontz Avenue to Broad Street above Olney Avenue. Ogontz Avenue is a significant thoroughfare that cuts diagonally through the city’s uniform grid of streets. The commercial and residential properties along Ogontz Ave experienced a decline in the early 1970s, but revitalization efforts have since improved the area. The avenue merges with Pennsylvania Route 309 (old US 309), a limited access expressway, as it crosses into the suburbs.

The Ogontz theater, built in 1926-1927, was a notable landmark at 6033 Ogontz Avenue. It was closed in 1988 and later demolished. The Central High School, Special Troops Armory, and Suffolk Manor Apartments are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Geographical Boundaries

Ogontz is surrounded by the following areas:

  • Broad Street (Fern Rock, Philadelphia lies beyond this boundary)
  • Olney Avenue (Logan, Philadelphia is situated beyond)
  • Stenton Avenue (West Oak Lane, Philadelphia lies beyond)
  • Wister Street (East Germantown, Philadelphia is located beyond)


The neighborhood boasts several educational institutions, including Central High School, Philadelphia, Widener Memorial School, and Philadelphia School for Girls, located just south of the neighborhood. La Salle University, which is located on both sides of Olney Avenue, extends partially into Belfield. Other schools within the neighborhood include Imhotep Charter High School, Joseph Pennell Elementary, Ogontz Academy, and Prince Hall Elementary.

Public Libraries

The Free Library of Philadelphia operates the David Cohen Ogontz Branch at 6017 Ogontz Avenue at Church Lane. The library offers a vast collection of books, digital resources, and community programs.


The neighborhood is home to the Belfield Recreation Center, Belfield Park, and Kemble Park, providing residents with ample opportunities for outdoor activities and community events.