River, creeks and streams, dense woods, rolling hills, and open meadows, the Main Line has benefited from the early planning of William Penn.
Today, variety is endless in Main Line communities. Houses are built with a wide variety of materials; architectural style is diverse. From Stone Colonials and English Tudors to Split Levels and Ranches, homes are built with brick, stone, stucco and/or siding. Prices range from the $100,000’s to the millions, and every price in between. Neighborhoods range from urban to rural in style, location and layout. The topography remains one of gently rolling hills with a wide diversity of trees and natural flora. Even as we enter the new millennium, the area’s historic roots and idyllic setting are still apparent and preserved. You are sure to find the style and size home with which you are most comfortable in a neighborhood your family will cherish.
And why do so many people seek to live here?
The Main Line towns in the townships of Lower Merion, Radnor, Haverford, and Tredyffrin offer both quality and quantity in what you are looking for in a community and a life style. There are more schools (public and private), medical facilities, libraries, institutions of higher education, churches, synagogues, parks, trails, community theaters, community newspapers, upscale stores, first rate restaurants, family activity centers, thrift shops, antique stores, and more of just about anything else you desire for you and your family.
The “Main Line” travels West from City Line Avenue, along the Pennsylvania Railroad, which, for the most part, meanders between Lancaster Pike and Montgomery Avenue. The towns and communities developed through the years. Each time period left a unique imprint and sense of community to the various neighborhoods.
We begin our tour of the Main Line at City Line Avenue (Rt. 1), the major artery which divides Philadelphia County and Montgomery County. It is also a major access road to the Schuylkill expressway (Rt. 76)’ the major east-west highway through the greater Philadelphia area.
Bala Cynwyd, Merion and Wynnewood are the towns bordering City Avenue, heading south from the Schuylkill expressway. Bala Cynwyd, known as the gateway to the Main Line, is characterized by large stone homes, usually 50 years or older. It has the most urban feeling among Lower Merion Township towns. Merion is home to the Barnes Foundation, a mansion built by Dr. Albert Barnes in 1922 and recently renovated.
Heading West, the next communities are Narberth and Ardmore. Narberth, a separate borough homes over 75 of age. It is an eclectic “town” with a super playground. Ardmore is home to Suburban Square, one of the oldest shopping centers in the country with an outstanding Farmer’s Market and lovely shops. Continue driving west along scenic Montgomery Avenue, a street that is interspersed with residential and commercial properties.
The “college towns” of Haverford and Bryn Mawr are home to Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, Harcum College and Rosemont College. Aside from these educational institutes, with beautiful open campuses, both towns offer a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and parks. Bryn Mawr Hospital is located in Bryn Mawr. Villanova is just West of Bryn Mawr. Villanova University, including its Law and Nursing Schools, sits atop a gently rolling hill, overlooking Lancaster Pike in Villanova. Villanova University is home to the Villanova Wildcats. When basketball season starts, this is the place to be! Radnor, just past the Route 476 interchange, is home to Chanticleer, the 30- acre garden estate of Adolph Rosengarten. Radnor has more than 30 public gardens. Beyond Radnor is Wayne/Strafford. Wayne is a community with a large town center with many shops.
Wayne is also home to the Valley Forge Military Academy and College. Strafford is home to a very popular farmers market. Devon Is our final stop. The Devon Horse Show Fairgrounds is where the annual Devon Horse Show and County Fair are – held. In addition to the notable Devon Horse show, the American Gold Cup, Arabian Horse Show, Dressage at Devon and the Delco Scottish Games are some of the annual events held at the Fairgrounds. The Main Line does not end in Devon, but rather continues out Lancaster Pike to the City of Lancaster. Other residential towns along Lancaster Pike include Malvern, Berwyn, Paoli, and Exton, each with a multitude of antique stores and quaint shops.
Gladwyne is the only Main Line community with a Schuylkill expressway exchange and access to the Schuylkill River for recreation. Gladwyne has many horse and nature trails surrounded by beautiful woodlands. There is a wide range of architecture and prices in this fairly hilly location.
Schools, movie theaters, book stores, gourmet shops, libraries, parks and playgrounds, plus other important amenities, are interspersed to a varying degree in all of the towns.