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Crescentville, Philadelphia facts for kids

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Neighborhood of Philadelphia
St. William Parish in Crescentville
St. William Parish in Crescentville
Country  United States
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia County
City Philadelphia
Area code(s) Area code 215

Crescentville is a neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia. It is located in the vicinity of Adams, Rising Sun, and Tabor Avenues.

Crescentville is referred to as the area bound by Tookany Creek to the South and West of Adams Avenue, up to the intersection of Comly and Rising Sun Avenues and to Whitaker Avenue to the East. Originally, the center of the "town" was located on the West side of Tookany/Tacony Creek, where Asylum Road (Adams Ave) crosses the creek. The Zip Code is 19120 (Olney Postal Station). Its history dates back before the Civil War as an affluent area once home to many mansions and estates, as well as a few farms. Most notably, during the Civil War, the area was referred to as "Grubbtown". Some of the Lower portions of Crescentville are sub-categorized and considered the Whitaker Mills area in reference to the Whitaker Mills that stood along Tacony/Tookany Creek at Tabor Road.

The name Crescentville is thought to be derived from the Crescentville Rope Factory that once stood along the Tookany Creek watershed.


Rising Sun Avenue

The main artery is Rising Sun Avenue, which was originally a toll road known as the Kensington & Oxford Turnpike. Rising Sun Avenue is home to many stores, shops and homes. Some former stores of note were the former Crest Diner, later Luv-Inn Diner (now K-Diner), the Dairy Queen (now a laundromat) Pippo's Italian Restaurant and of course the CREST Theater.

East of Rising Sun

The area East of Rising Sun, over to Tabor Road, is strictly all row homes. Some are built on land formerly housing a swampy area that was more of a nature area for the farming residents of prior days.

It was said that this area had boardwalks and picnic areas for the affluent residents, and even a small one-lane airport was to have been located nearer to present day Comly Street. Ben Franklin Public Elementary School was built at Rising Sun and Cheltenham in the 1920s and shared its principal at first with the nearby Lawndale Elementary School about a mile away, at Bingham and Hellerman Streets in Lawndale. On Tabor Road is Creighton Elementary School, also public, built in the 1900s. Both schools see a combined enrollment of just under 2000 students.

Row homes

The area was largely undeveloped until the 1920s when northward expansion of the city limits took hold and "modern" row housing was built over former farm land. Various developers built blocks and blocks of row homes with little thought or attention to open space. This effect would later have a downfall. The average price of a new row home back then was under $5,000.00—an equivalent to around $64,000.00 in 2008 dollars.

West side of Rising Sun Avenue

The West side of Rising Sun Avenue is home to more single and twin homes, though a few blocks of classy stone Rows are found. Within one of those blocks of Stone Rows was the home of cartoonist Bil Keane, creator of Family Circus. William Keane attended and graduated from nearby St. William Catholic School and later attended North Catholic High School where he began and honed his drawing skills.

Lower end

The lower end of Crescentville was home to many industries up until the late 1970s, early 1980s who employed many of the local residents. Included in this mix were Bond Bread, Exide Battery, 3M, Goodman Mills and several smaller mills. Later, Exide was demolished to make way for Rising Sun Plaza, a shopping center home to over two dozen stores. When it opened, Clover and Acme Markets were the bookend stores that were the primary draw, but after the closing of Clover and later the Acme Market, the draw has turned to more of the discount stores like National Wholesale Liquidators and an Asian Market, HK International, has taken over the former Acme store. There are still a few stores located within that are original stores when the Plaza Opened.

National Register of Historic Places

The Thomas Creighton School and Benjamin Franklin School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Coordinates: 40°02′40″N 75°06′04″W / 40.044556°N 75.101008°W / 40.044556; -75.101008

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