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Bustleton
Neighborhood of Philadelphia
Philadelphia Neighborhood Map.svg
Country  United States
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia County
City Philadelphia
Area code(s) Area code 215
Phila.Deed Book IC-12page403
Deed to Bustleton Academy, c. 1811
PhilaDeedBookIC-12 page404
Deed to Academy at Bustleton, c. 1811

The Bustleton section of Northeast Philadelphia is located in the Far Northeast, north of Rhawnhurst and Fox Chase and south of Somerton; sitting between Roosevelt Boulevard to the east, the city boundary to the west, Red Lion Road (PA-63) to the north, and Pennypack Park to the south, it is centered at the intersection of Grant Avenue and Bustleton Avenue (PA-532) and is completely included in the 19115 postal zip code.

In the early history of the city, Bustleton was known as a rich farming area. Common legend states that the early neighborhood centered on the Bustleton Tavern, a local bar established before the American Revolution. Pennypack Park is part of the Fairmount Park system and was the site of much industry including mills. The area was a trading center and had hotels drawing farmers bringing goods for sale via horse and buggy. Much of the commerce was also conducted via small streams and rivers of the present-day Pennypack Watershed. The old Paul's Run waterway once provided navigation from the Bustleton Tavern all the way to the Delaware River.

One of the early schools went by the name: Bustleton Academy, also known as The Academy at Bustelton, not to be confused with Lower Dublin Academy which was a much older school and was also located in the same township.

Bustleton was originally part of Lower Dublin Township, also known as Dublin Township, a defunct township that was located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. The township ceased to exist and was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia following the passage of the Act of Consolidation, 1854.

Bustleton is home to one of the oldest churches in America, Lower Dublin Baptist Church now known as Pennypack Baptist. Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the large Roman Catholic parish that served as a mother church for most of the parishes in the Northeast section of Philadelphia. Saint Katherine Drexel attended Mass in the Old BVM Church, now included in Pennypack Park.

Present day

In the present day, Bustleton is largely a residential community with major commercial areas on Roosevelt Boulevard, Bustleton Avenue, Grant Avenue, and Red Lion Road. It has minimal industrial presence. US Census Bureau data show that the community is home to an increasingly racially and ethnically diverse population with many immigrant groups represented; in particular one can see store-fronts, billboards, and newspapers in Russian (especially along Bustleton Avenue) from the many immigrants from Russia, Ukraine, and other former Soviet Republics.

Population

According to the 2000 US Census, the total population was 31,853 of which 45.9 percent were male, less than the 49.1 percent of the total US population that was male in 2000. Just less than 17 percent of area residents were under 18 years old compared with over a quarter throughout the US. Nearly 27 percent were 65 years or older, well more than twice the rate in the general population; 4 percent of the total Bustleton population was 85 years or older. Reflecting the large concentration of older citizens, the median age in Bustleton was 46.8 years compared with 35.3 years nationwide, and local residents were somewhat more likely to be disabled, 26.4 percent versus a national average of 19.3 percent.

Whites made up 87.1 percent of the population (US share was 75.1 percent), blacks were 3.5 percent (US share was 12.3 percent), Asians were 7.0 percent (US share was 3.6 percent) with the majority of those Indian. Nearly one-third of residents spoke a foreign language at home compared with less than 18 percent nationwide.

Economically, only 53.4 percent of those 16 years or older were in the labor force in 2000, well below the US average of 63.9 percent but the per capita income of $21,540 was nearly identical to the national level. Less than 10 percent were below the poverty level (US rate was 12.4 percent).

Four of every 5 adults, 25 years and over, were at least high school graduates in 2000, and 1 in 4 had at least a bachelor's degree (slightly more than the US population).

Transportation

Public transportation is provided by several SEPTA bus and regional rail routes, including bus routes 19, 58, 67, and the West Trenton Line and Fox Chase Line regional rail lines in nearby communities. Major roads include Welsh Road, Verree Road, Red Lion Road (PA 63), Bustleton Avenue (PA 532), Grant Avenue, Krewstown Road, and the Roosevelt Boulevard (U.S. 1). Bustleton is the unfortunate home to two of the most dangerous intersections in the United States: Roosevelt Boulevard at Grant Avenue and at Red Lion Road. After decades of complaints due to the large numbers of accidents, these intersections became the first in Philadelphia to have cameras installed which record the license plates of vehicles entering the intersections after the traffic light has turned red. The program has since spread to many intersections throughout the city.

It is bordered on the east by Northeast Philadelphia Airport, a municipal reliever airport that dates to World War II.

Organizations

The Greater Bustleton Civic League, originally an alliance of the major local churches but now a neighborhood organization dealing primarily with zoning issues, has served the area for more than sixty years. Youth sports are organized by the Bustleton Bengals which has its home field at Robert Hayes Memorial Playground, named for a slain Philadelphia police officer who was an area resident, though, locals refer to the playground and the surrounding park areas as either Conwell Playground or Five Diamonds (due to its five baseball fields).


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