Rhawnhurst: A Hidden Gem in Philadelphia

‍Rhawnhurst, a charming residential neighborhood nestled in the Northeast section of Philadelphia, is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful suburban feel while being just a stone’s throw away from the bustling city center. Named after George and William Rhawn, the area’s real estate developers, Rhawnhurst is a close-knit community known for its tree-lined streets, well-maintained homes, and a strong sense of community spirit. With its prime location and a rich history, Rhawnhurst has become a sought-after destination for families and individuals looking for a tranquil yet convenient place to call home.

A Brief History

Rhawnhurst’s history dates back to the mid-20th century when Philadelphia was rapidly expanding. By 1940, development had reached Cottman Avenue, but large portions of the Northeast, including Rhawnhurst, were still vast farmlands. It was during the post-World War II baby boom that the demand for housing skyrocketed, leading to the transformation of the open areas of Northeast Philadelphia into thriving residential neighborhoods.

Geographic Location and Boundaries

Rhawnhurst is roughly bordered by Cottman Avenue to the south, Pennway Street to the west, the Pennypack Creek to the north, and Roosevelt Boulevard to the east. This well-defined area encompasses ZIP codes 19152 and part of ZIP code 19111. At the heart of Rhawnhurst lies the intersection of Castor Avenue and Rhawn Street, serving as the geographic center of the neighborhood.

Transportation: Getting Around Rhawnhurst

Rhawnhurst offers various transportation options, making it easy for residents to navigate the neighborhood and beyond. The predominant modes of transportation in the area are private cars and public transportation. Major roads such as Cottman Avenue, Bustleton Avenue, Castor Avenue, Rhawn Street, and the Roosevelt Boulevard provide convenient access to different parts of the city. However, it’s worth noting that the intersection of Cottman Avenue and the Roosevelt Boulevard has gained notoriety as one of the most dangerous in the city.

Several SEPTA bus lines serve Rhawnhurst, connecting residents to the Market-Frankford Line elevated train (known as the “El”), the Broad Street Line, and regional rail lines. These transportation options make it easy for residents to commute to work, explore the city, or enjoy the countless attractions that Philadelphia has to offer.

Education: Nurturing Young Minds

Rhawnhurst takes great pride in providing quality education to its residents. Within the neighborhood, there are five primary and secondary schools that cater to the educational needs of the community.

The School District of Philadelphia operates four schools in Rhawnhurst, including Farrell Elementary School, Rhawnhurst Elementary School, Castor Gardens Middle School, and Northeast High School. These institutions have played a significant role in shaping the minds of countless students over the years. Additionally, Resurrection of Our Lord Catholic School, a parochial school operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, offers an alternative education option for families seeking a faith-based education.

Infrastructure and Government Services

Rhawnhurst benefits from a well-established infrastructure, ensuring that residents have access to essential services and amenities. The United States Postal Service operates the Roosevelt Mall branch, conveniently located at 2311 Cottman Avenue, serving the communities within ZIP code 19152. Residents residing in the portion of Rhawnhurst within ZIP code 19111 receive mail from the Fox Chase post office located on 7232 Rising Sun Ave.

Houses of Worship: Nurturing the Spirit

Rhawnhurst is a diverse community that embraces people of various faiths. There are several churches and synagogues within the neighborhood, catering to the spiritual needs of its residents. The Roman Catholic community is served by Resurrection and BVM churches, while major Protestant churches include Redemption Lutheran Church, Rhawnhurst Baptist Church, All Saints Episcopal Church, Rhawnhurst Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia First Church of the Nazarene, and Philadelphia Boulevard Seventh-day Adventist Church. Additionally, there are several synagogues and Jewish congregations, including Ahavas Torah, Beth Medrash Harav, B’nai Israel – Ohev Zedek, The Lubavitcher Center, Mesillat Yesharim, and Congregation Dibrot Eliyahu.

Shopping: Convenience at Your Doorstep

Rhawnhurst boasts a variety of shopping options, ensuring that residents have easy access to everyday necessities, trendy boutiques, and unique local businesses. Major shopping centers in the area include the Bell’s Corner Shopping Center, the Cottman Bustleton Center, and the Roosevelt Mall. These shopping destinations offer a wide range of retail stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and entertainment options, making it convenient for residents to fulfill their shopping needs without venturing far from home. Additionally, smaller storefronts along Castor Avenue, Bustleton Avenue, and Cottman Avenue add to the vibrant local shopping scene.

Recreation: Embracing the Outdoors


Nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers will find themselves at home in Rhawnhurst. The neighborhood is blessed with the presence of Pennypack Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States. With its extensive trails, picturesque views, and abundant wildlife, Pennypack Park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Bradford Park, located near the Roosevelt Mall, provides a smaller but equally delightful green space, popular among dog owners as a designated dog park. For those seeking indoor recreational activities, the Pelbano Recreation Center, affectionately known as “Solly,” offers a playground operated by the City of Philadelphia. Additionally, the Northeast Regional Library provides a quiet space for book lovers and a wealth of knowledge for avid readers.

Notable Residents: Making Rhawnhurst Proud

Rhawnhurst has been home to several notable individuals who have made significant contributions to their respective fields. Rubén Amaro Jr., a former MLB baseball player, general manager, and coach, hails from Rhawnhurst. His achievements in the world of baseball have not only brought pride to the neighborhood but have also inspired aspiring athletes. Ralph Garman, an impressionist and radio on-air personality, has also called Rhawnhurst home. Duane Swierczynski, a renowned crime writer, and Dennis Duffy, a stunt double for Timothée Chalamet, have also left their mark on the neighborhood. Howard Eskin, a prominent radio and TV sports commentator, is another notable resident who has made Rhawnhurst proud.

Embracing the Rhawnhurst Spirit

Rhawnhurst Neighborhood is more than just a place to live; it’s a community that cherishes its history, celebrates its diversity, and fosters a strong sense of togetherness. With its convenient location, top-notch educational institutions, ample recreational opportunities, and a welcoming atmosphere, Rhawnhurst continues to attract individuals and families seeking a tranquil and vibrant place to call home. Whether you’re strolling through its tree-lined streets, exploring its parks, or engaging with its warm-hearted residents, you can’t help but feel the Rhawnhurst spirit that sets this neighborhood apart. Discover the charm of Rhawnhurst and experience the best of suburban living with all the conveniences of city life.