Need feedback about Lansdowne
My husband and I are thinking about buying a house in Lansdowne. What are people's opinions about the town? I'm most interested in hearing from people who live there or know the area very well. Thanks!
I think Lansdowne is a gorgeous little town. It does have it's fair share of challenges, however, so you shouldn't be blind to them.
That being said, it has an involved and progressive citizenry and a long standing Quaker tradition, from what I understand. I'm pulling for it, though to be honest, things could go either way down the road. Hopefully, it will end up looking more like Collingswood or Swarthmore than Yeadon or Darby, but only time will tell.
I especially like the Gladstone section. There is a train station right in the neighborhood and those twin homes are stately, large, and well cared for. The areas of the borough bordering Upper Darby are also really nice. Those sections of Upper Darby (Aronomink and Drexeline, I believe) seem to be in favor these days, which is a good thing, given Upper Darby has it's own set of challenges. I was looking at the recent census data, and was surprised to see how high household incomes were in those parts of Upper Darby. Well north of $100,000 and rising, with 50+% of adults with college degrees. Given that incomes in most places were stagnant (as born out by the census), that could only mean that relative to other areas, Upper Darby (or at least those parts) are holding their own, if not quietly gaining in favor.
Based on how people talk on this board, one would think Upper Darby was a vortex of hell on the verge of extinction.
Hi, I live in Landowne in the Gladstone section. We moved here from the University of Penn area in Philadelphia about 8 years ago. I love how quiet and neighborhoody the town is and it's proximity to Philly and lots of shopping to the West. In the past 4 years there has been a lot of community activity around town. For example, a farmers market was started and the movie theater is undergoing a historic restoration, plus several new shops and restaurants have opened. It feels like we're moving in a good direction.
The town is diverse and has been for a while. I am sure your going to see a couple of responses, as referenced above telling you Upper Darby and Lansdowne are bad areas, cause the same couple folks say that everytime the town is mentioned on this blog. I can either conclude that they just don't know of why they speak, or if they see one non-white face, it throws them into a tizzy.
I love my town. A lot and I'd recommend living here without reservation. Our long time neighbors from across the street have just yesterday put there house on the market after spending the winter in warmer climates with their children. Maybe we'll be neighbors!
I think the town is really stepping up. As others have hinted at, there has been a lot of community activity in the town. Businesses are opening, the borough is investing more in developing the down town district, parks, trails, school district etc.
As a fan of the town, here's some examples that come to mind of choices that you'll have if you decide to move to the town:
- Sycamore, which opened just over a year ago is now ranked in the top 25 places to eat in Philadelphia.
- Cinema 16:9 - has become the go-to place for independent films in the area.
- Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation is renovating the historic theater, marquee and all. If the rumors are true, then the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra will return to its home theater too.
- BT Baking runs a small bake shop as does Regency Cafe.
- Provisions Market, Harvest Local Foods for organic product, prepared foods etc.
- Lansdowne was also recently categorized as a Classic Town.
- Art Space opened its doors to become an art classroom/ studio space down town.
If you have the time to keep reading, check out the annual report from the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation at 2010 Annual Report - LansdownesFuture.com - it gives you a great picture of all the work that is being done.
2 murders in the past month, I think.
I've lived there, but wouldn't think of it again. Plus, it's VERY inconvenient to get anywhere from Lansdowne except by train.
And, Upper Darby is, by and large, a bad area. Read the DelcoTimes everyday for a month and then decide.
My mother owned both a large, victorian and rental units in Lansdown for ages and attracted there by realtors claiming that it was on the upswing, being reborn, the theater is being renovated, new stores!....this was over a decade ago and I don't see any progress.
You think wrong, so you shouldn't say such a scary thing unless you know. One person was a murder victum in early January. The first in a very long time. The other that people keep bringing up to make it sound even scarier was eventually ruled an accidental death and was in East Lansdowne. (which is not the same borough)
The theater restoration started two years ago, I personally helped remove TONS of muddy, rusty junk from the building's basement with about 100 other volunteers, so it is a new initiative (not ten years old) and even held a sold out performance last summer. This summer the marquee is being restored and relit and they're planning a weekend event around it. Many new shops opened this past year, and several more have new signs up. We're replacing old school hair salons and such with really nice entreprenurial stuff. The Lansdowne diner at the corner of Lansdowne/Baltimore was just 100% restored and modernized and will be reopening in the next month or so. It's exciting stuff and I can't wait.
You don't say when you lived year or when you left. So if it wasn't recently, you should consider yourself being informed by the folks writing here and not contribute misinformation -intentionally or otherwise.
I visit Lansdowne once a month to see a doctor. I don't see any changes I would consider positive. Hey, it's not for everyone.
Lansdowne can be a wonderful abode for the discerning family, although there have been a few recorded and unsettling
Originally Posted by camera
issues that have raised the hairs on even the most hardened old timer. Sunny skies by day, dark tunnel to hell at
"I heard about this ghost when I first started seriously researching ghosts as paranormal phenomena. A former member told me that the spirit of a young girl haunts the area of the intersection of Lansdowne Ave. and Providence Rd. in Lansdowne. The story he gave was that a girl was walking home with her bike down the hill of Providence Rd., coming from Lansdowne Ave, when she was struck and killed by an automobile.
I have, since that time, heard the story from other local people, and have attempted to see this spirit for myself. Ofcourse, the local legend is that you have to drive down the road (Providence) at midnight. Well, I can tell you that was an exercise in futility, because I have driven that road countless times at midnight and I have never seen anything unusual. I was beginning to think there was nothing to this story until the night of September 19, 1998."
> I have enough paranormal activities of our own and I'll be up all night again, so you will need to find the truth yourself,
but here's another account:
The following was submitted by R. Foley:
My sister urged me to write to you. I moved into my house in October of 1999. As I was making a left turn from Lansdowne Avenue onto Providence Road late during the first week or so that I lived here I almost ran over a female who was standing in the middle of Providence Road looking towards me but appeared to cross towards my house. She was looking right at me. I slammed on my brakes. I pulled into my drive and was very shaken and angry and the car was packed with stuff that I was moving from my old house and the stuff preceeded to slide and fall, etc. I parked the carat the end, got out and walked up to the road very shaken to make sure that the girl was ok. I felt bad that I had come so close to hitting her and I was some what angry that she seemed to be looking right at me from the middle of the road. It's a dangerous hill.
She was gone. I crossed the road and looked up the hill and down and there was no one there. I stood there for a few seconds knowing it was impossible for anyone to walk away that fast. I would have seen her pass me if she went into a neighbors house. I told my son I either needed sleep or I saw ghost with big hair and socks who likes to stand in the middle of the road. I have over the last several years mentioned this to a few people who have told me of this girl.
Any information you could share on her? I am still living in the same house. I haven't seen her since then but I would love to know her story.
ummm...ok to the ghost story...no 6th graders here to entertain...
i grew up in the upper darby/lansdowne area and am frequently there...it really hasn't changed much and upper darby is not scary at all, except maybe if you are afraid of your own shadow. Nobody is trying to sell it as anything more than a suburb near the city, but the way some people describe it..geez. Now Lansdowne is definitely a cute town, not much going on there, but yes a farmers market and nice restaurant recently opened. Some areas are cuter/nicer than others. Drive around to get a feel for yourself. If you have specific questions, ask away.
I do think its funny when people on here talk smack about Upper Darby or Lansdowne....but they then talk up Kensington, Brewerytown etc.
Originally Posted by forkiks
Hey last night was the biggest full moon in 18 years, so a little ghost story isn't out of line.
Originally Posted by forkiks
Speaking of 6th graders take a look at your useless review. You growing up there is probably the best reason not to
buy there. Cute, farmers market?
LeoNel above gives some actual useful info on real places, and in a 10 minute Google search I could add more than
you did. If you wish to pump up your home town then do your homework.
Sorry more than 10 minutes since I'm also cooking, dealing with pets, and doing laundry plus a phone call.
Looks like a lot of nice parks (you can Google the boro website for other info):
There are 11 parks in the borough:
The Parks close at dusk. Permits are required for the use of the fields and tennis courts for teams. Group use of the parks requires a permit from the Recreation Department.
Hoffman Park — 8 acres with baseball and soccer fields, basketball courts, four tennis courts, pavillion, swings bathrooms and picnic tables. Location: Scottdale Road. Photos Map
Hays Park — 1.2 acres with basketball courts, tot-lot toys, swings, slide and picnic tables. Location: Nyack and Sayers Avenues. Map
Interboro Park — 3 acres with basketball courts, tot-lot toys, swings and slide. Location: Cedar & Walnut Aves. Map
Belmont Park — 3.9 acres with basketball courts, swings, slide, tot-lot toys and big toys. Location: Belmont & Plumstead Aves. Map
Sycamore Park — 1 acre meditative setting with benches. Home of the symbol of Lansdowne, its 300 year old Sycamore tree. Location: LaCrosse & Wycombe Aves. Map
Reservoir Park — 1.4 acres, undeveloped. Location: Greenwood and Ardmore Avenue. Photos Map
Pennock Woods — 6.5 acres of County open space with Lansdowne Bird Sanctuary. Location: Pennock Terrace. Map
Shrigley Woods — 6.5 acres of undeveloped County open space. Location: Scottdale & Hilldale Rds. Map
Marlyn Park — 3 acres, passive park. Location: Willowbrook & Marlyn Aves. Map
Borough Green — At the center of town, directly in front of the Municipal Building. Location: Lansdowne & Baltimore Aves. Map
Veterans Park — A shaded place to rest across from the historic Lansdowne Theater. Location: 30 North Lansdowne Ave. Map
Last edited by Braveheart; 03-20-2011 at 11:40 AM.
Reason: edit forkits brain
for real! and don't forget fabulous west philly :P
Originally Posted by Malloy
Originally Posted by Braveheart
but when the ghost story is boring.....
if it wasn't clear to you - i was responding to those that have an opinion on something that they aren't that knowledgable about. The original poster asked for opinions from people familiar with the area...and like i said in my message, if original poster has specific questions about lansdowne, they are free to ask and i hope i or others can answer applicably.
(to Sycamore, i too visit some random part of the city once a month, but it certainly does not make me an expert on the area....)
Those pics are from a 3-4 block area...but there are a LOT of nice homes around Lansdowne. No blight, great homes, low crime (compared to Philly) quick ride to West Phila and CC. People tolerate a lot of crime and trash to their ankles in SPhila and some of Bella Vista (my fav Philly area) but they are quick to rip on inner ring burbs....its weird.
Last edited by Braveheart; 03-21-2011 at 10:07 AM.
I lived in Lansdowne for 5 years before taking the leap and buying a house in the city.
We loved it there! My husband and I rented out the third floor in a large Victorian. I loved that it was quiet, safe, and close to the city. To me it was like having the best of both worlds- the space and greenery found in the burbs along with a close proximity to a bustling city. Houses are also very, very affordable in the area. The large homes are charming and have a great deal of character. However, we ultimately decided to buy a home in the city since we both work at Penn and wanted to give up our cars.
My husband visits this same family doctor and he had an appointment today. The doctor has practiced in Lansdowne for at least 50 years. During my husband's appointment today, my husband had to physically remove, restrain, and eventually punch in the mouth a fellow patient (and Lansdowne native) because the Lansdownian was threatening and menacing the doctor, and then tried to attack my husband when he stepped in to protect the 85 year old, 5 foot tall doctor with a pace maker. Then, after the Lansdownian was forced to leave, he came back with his neighbors to block in the doctor's drive so no one could leave. More police involvement. Nice town.
Originally Posted by Sycamore
I feel like Lansdowne has a lot of the good and bad of West Philly. Some great Victorian architecture, a commercial strip that was once awesome then went down and is maybe doing better a little at a time. Good train access to the city.
Originally Posted by forkiks
Never got as remotely bad as West Philly in the era of crack but then again lots of West Philly good and bad has moved west more recently.
I have friend who proposes a tree ring theory for gentrification and urban blight. Don't know if I subscribe to that simplistic a model.
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