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Media, Pennsylvania
Bank building on State Street
Bank building on State Street
Official seal of Media, Pennsylvania
Everybody's Hometown
Location in Delaware County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Location in Delaware County and the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.
Media, Pennsylvania is located in Pennsylvania
Media, Pennsylvania
Media, Pennsylvania
Location in Pennsylvania
Media, Pennsylvania is located in the United States
Media, Pennsylvania
Media, Pennsylvania
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Delaware
Settled 1681
 • Total 0.76 sq mi (1.97 km2)
 • Land 0.76 sq mi (1.97 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
299 ft (91 m)
 • Total 5,327
 • Estimate 
 • Density 7,486.17/sq mi (2,889.53/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
19063, 19065, 19091
Area codes 610 and 484
FIPS code 42-48480
GNIS feature ID 1180858
Delaware Co PA Courthouse
Delaware County Courthouse

Media is a borough in and the county seat of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States, about 13 miles (21 km) west of Philadelphia. Media was incorporated in 1850 at the same time that it was named the county seat. The population was 5,327 at the 2010 census, down from 5,533 at the 2000 census.


The history of the area goes back to William Penn, but the area remained predominantly rural until the twentieth century. Land in the area was sold and settled soon after William Penn was named proprietor of the colony of Pennsylvania in 1681 by King Charles II of England. Peter and William Taylor bought the land where Media is now located, directly from Penn. At the time, the land was located in Chester County. Providence Township was organized in 1684, and later divided into Upper Providence and Nether Providence townships by 1690, even though they only had 40 taxable properties at the time. The current borough, formed in 1850, sits between the two townships.

In 1683, the Court of Chester County approved the construction of "Providence Great Road" (now Pennsylvania Route 252). The road, which runs north from Chester to within a few blocks of today's downtown, is shown on a 1687 map along with the names of local landowners. It forms the eastern border of the borough.

Thomas Minshall, a Quaker, was an early Media resident, settling just outside the small village then known as "Providence", along the Providence Great Road. The village then included a tailor shop, blacksmith shop, wheelwright shop, barn and other buildings.

Minshall bought 625 acres (253 ha) from William Penn and arrived in 1682. The Providence Friends Meeting was established at his house in February 1688, and a meetinghouse was later built on land he donated for the purpose. The original meetinghouse was built out of logs in 1699 or 1700, and the current building dates to 1814. A house on Minshall's property, built c. 1750, still stands and was given to the citizens of the borough in 1975.

Chester County, Pennsylvania was divided in 1789, the eastern portion becoming Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The area in the center of the new county remained rural through 1850. On March 11, 1850, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Special Act of Assembly incorporated the Borough of Media, and made the sale of malt and spirituous liquors unlawful within its borders. At the same time, the county seat of Delaware County was moved to Media from Chester. The borough was formed from four farms purchased by the county, totaling only 480 acres (190 ha). The borders of the borough have not changed since that time.

Media PA Keystone Marker
Keystone Marker from the 1920s gives one version of the origin of the town's name

Streets were plotted in a rectangular grid around the location of the new courthouse, lots were sold at public auctions, and the construction of houses began. Sources agree that Minshall Painter, a descendant of Thomas Minshall, suggested the name "Media", but do not agree on the reason. The name most likely comes from the borough's central location in Delaware County.

The John J. Tyler Arboretum occupies part of Thomas Minshall's original 625 acres (253 ha). This farm was used by the Underground Railroad. The land was donated to a public trust in 1944 by an eighth-generation descendant. The arboretum was started as a private collection by brothers Jacob and Minshall Painter. In 1825, they began systematically planting over 1,000 varieties of trees and shrubs. Over 20 of their original trees survive, including a giant sequoia.

Minshall House Media PA
Thomas Minshall house

Minshall Painter was also a leader of the Delaware County Institute of Science, which was formed on September 21, 1833, with just four other members: George Miller, John Miller, George Smith, M.D., and John Cassin. The institute was incorporated in 1836. About 1850, Painter gave the institute the land where its building currently stands at 11 Veterans Square, and the building was constructed in 1867.

In the second half of the 19th century, Media was a summer resort for well-to-do Philadelphians. The borough's large vacation hotels included the Idlewild Hotel (1871) on Lincoln Street at Gayley Terrace, Chestnut Grove House or "The Colonial" (1860) on Orange Street, and Brooke Hall on Lemon Street and Washington Avenue (now Baltimore Avenue). The Chestnut Grove was used for a year by nearby Swarthmore College due to a fire on its campus.

The West Chester and Philadelphia Railroad was built through Media on October 19, 1854. Electrified service was opened on December 2, 1928. Up to 50 trains passed through each day. The railroad became part of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad and eventually the Penn Central. SEPTA took over operations in 1983. Woodrow Wilson spoke at the Media Station in 1912 during his first election campaign. Trolley transportation lines spread to and through Media in the 1890s and early 1900s.

Media PA Theater
The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts

The Media Theatre opened as a vaudeville house in 1927. The first 'talkie' film, The Jazz Singer, was shown there. It remained a popular cinema through the 1970s and 1980s. In 1994, the theater underwent a $1 million restoration by Walter Strine Sr. and re-opened as the 'Media Theatre for the Performing Arts'. Shows produced there have included The Full Monty, Carousel and Miss Saigon.

On March 8, 1971, the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI raided an FBI "resident agency" in Media. They later released thousands of documents to major newspapers around the country. These documents revealed FBI tactics, like the recruitment of Boy Scouts as informants, and confirmed for the first time the existence of COINTELPRO, an FBI program to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" dissident groups in the United States.

In June 2006, Media became the first town in the United States to follow over 300 towns in Europe in attaining fair trade certification. To meet the criteria for certification, Media passed a council resolution in support of fair trade, served fair-trade coffee and tea in local government meetings and offices, ensured that a range of fair-trade products were available in local restaurants and businesses, raised popular support and provided media coverage for the fair-trade campaign, and convened a fair-trade steering committee to ensure continued commitment.

Local historic districts

Three locally recognized historic districts were designated by the borough in 1975. These districts are

  • Courthouse Square, from Olive to Orange Streets between 2nd and Jasper Streets.
  • Lemon Street, from Baker to Front Streets.
  • Providence Friends' Meeting House District, from Front to 2nd including the meetinghouse to Haldeman.


Samuel Risley House Media PA
Risley House
  • Minshall House (c.1750) on Route 252
  • Media Presbyterian Church (1855) on Baltimore Ave. designed by John McArthur, Jr., architect of Philadelphia City Hall.
  • Brooke Hall Female Seminary (1856) Finishing school at Lemon St. and Baltimore Ave, attended by future first lady, Ida (Sexton) McKinley. (demolished in 1959)
  • Cooper House (before 1870) on State Street
  • Delaware County Courthouse (1871) on Front Street (Google Street View)
  • Media Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (1875) and Media-Providence Friends School (1876), both located at 125 W. 3rd Street
  • Dr. Samuel D. Risley House (1877), 430 N. Monroe Street
  • Hillhurst (1890) on Orange Street, designed by Addison Hutton and owned by John Biddle as a summer home.
  • The Brick Church (1862) Nativity BVM's original church. Used as a school (1882-c.1950) after the main church was built. Currently used as a hall.
  • Provident National Bank (1900) on State Street at Veterans Square, designed by Albert Dilks (Google Street View)
  • Media Armory (1908) on State St, designed by Will Price and M H. McClanahan. Now home to the PA Veterans Museum and Trader Joe's grocery store.
  • Nativity BVM Church (1882) 30 E. Franklin St. Designed by Philadelphia ecclesiastical architect, Edwin Durang.
  • Jaisohn House (1925), 100 East Lincoln Street (Google Street View)
  • Old Rose Tree Tavern (1809), listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971
  • Gayley House (1855) 301 Gayley St., originally the Media Classical Institute, a Presbyterian academy founded by Rev. Samuel Maxwell Gayley. In 1923, the building became a convent for Nativity BVM Catholic Church until 2005. It currently serves as Nativity's parish center.


There are several parks located within the borough of Media and shared with surrounding communities.

  • Rose Tree Park
  • Barrall Park (aka Barrall Field)
  • Glen Providence Park
  • Houtman Park
  • Philip Green Park
  • Muriel Jaisohn Memorial Park and Nature Sanctuary
Media PA Friends Meeting
* Media Friends Meeting
  • Cherry Street Park
  • Milton Park
  • Scott Park

Geography and climate

Weather chart for Media, Pennsylvania
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

Media is located in central Delaware County at 39°55′8″N 75°23′17″W / 39.91889°N 75.38806°W / 39.91889; -75.38806 (39.918761, -75.388127).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.77 square miles (2.0 km2), of which 0.004 square miles (0.01 km2), or 0.42%, is water. Media is situated on high ground (250 to 350 feet (76 to 107 m) above sea level) draining west to Ridley Creek, a south-flowing tributary of the Delaware River.


As of Census 2010, the racial makeup of the borough was 83.4% White, 10.6% African American, 0.1% Native American, 3.5% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population [1].

As of the census of 2000, there were 5,533 people, 2,782 households, and 1,112 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,399.0 people per square mile (2,848.4/km2). There were 2,966 housing units at an average density of 3,966.3 per square mile (1,526.9/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 81.02% White, 14.22% African American, 0.14% Native American, 2.01% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 1.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.88% of the population.

There were 2,782 households, out of which 14.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.2% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.0% were non-families. 49.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.85 and the average family size was 2.73.

In the borough the population was spread out, with 13.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $42,703, and the median income for a family was $58,065. Males had a median income of $42,121 versus $31,904 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,188. About 6.1% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

The population in 1900 consisted of 3,075 people, whose numbers grew to 3,562 in 1910, and to 5,351 in 1940.

Media ZIP code

The term "Media" is often used to include not only the borough of Media, but other municipalities but that share the ZIP code. The borough of Media covers only 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2) and less than 6,000 residents, but the Media ZIP code 19063 covers 23.08 sq mi (59.8 km2) and a population of 35,704.

According to the United States Postal Service, the following addresses are included in the 19063 ZIP code: Elwyn, Garden City, Glen Riddle, and Rose Valley. Other areas at least partially included in the 19063 zip code are: Upper Providence Township; Nether Providence Township, the neighborhoods of South Media, Bowling Green, Pine Ridge and Ridgewood; and most of Middletown Township, including, Bortondale, Riddlewood, and Lima.



U.S. 1 formerly ran through the borough until the "Media bypass" was completed in 1960. The bypass has an unusual "volleyball" or three-level diamond interchange with Interstate 476. The former Route 1 through the center of Media is known by its older name, Baltimore Avenue, changing to "Baltimore Pike" outside the borough limits.

Route 252, Providence Road, runs along the Eastern border of Media borough.

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), the eleventh-busiest airport in the world in 2007, is 11 miles' driving distance (about a 15-minute drive) from downtown Media, following Baltimore Pike east, then Interstate 476 south and Interstate 95 northeast.

SEPTA Trolley & Train

  • Media Station is a SEPTA rail station of the Media/Elwyn Line.
  • The SEPTA Routes 101 and 102, also known as the Media-Sharon Hill Line are light-rail trolleys that run through Media to the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby. The trolley line ends in Media at the Media-Orange Street station.


Primary and secondary schools

Media lies within the Rose Tree Media School District, created by a merger with the Rose Tree Union School District and Media Borough School District in 1966. Public school students living within borough boundaries attend Media Elementary School, located in Downtown Media, for grades K-5. Springton Lake Middle School serves students in grades 6–8, and Penncrest High School serves students in grades 9–12.

The Media-Upper Providence Friends School, located within the borough, is the only private school in the borough.

Mother of Providence Regional Catholic School in Wallingford is the area Catholic school of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It formed in 2012 from a merger of Nativity BVM School, which was Media's only pariochal school and St. John Chrysostom in Wallingford. Nativity BVM school opened in 1912, with its last building occupied in 1949. The Nativity BVM school administration chose not to file an appeal against the 2012 order to merge. Some parents had lobbied for the continued operation of the school. The archdiocese had originally planned to make Nativity BVM the regional campus, but changed when St. John Chrystosom had appealed against that decision. After the closure, Media Elementary School occupied the campus while renovations of the permanent Media Elementary occurred.

Tertiary education

  • Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, a two-year junior college;
  • Williamson College of the Trades, a three-year technical college
  • Delaware County Community College, a two-year liberal arts college

Public libraries

Media is also served by the Media-Upper Providence Free Library.

Notable people

Government / politics


  • Samuel D. Riddle, textile mill owner and race-horse owner
  • Jonathan Bixby, costume designer



  • Ann Crumb, Broadway actress
  • Jim Croce, singer and songwriter
  • Dave Miller, record producer for Bill Haley's early recordings
  • John Billingsley, actor
  • Wanda Sykes, actress and comedian
  • Todd Robinson, Emmy-winning director and screenwriter
  • Dean Sabatino, drummer for The Dead Milkmen
  • Paul DiMeo actor, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition


  • John Gibbon, surgeon known for inventing the heart-lung machine


  • Frank Furness, renowned Philadelphia architect
  • Charles Lewis Fussell, 19th-century American landscape painter
  • Michael A. O'Donnell, author, researcher, international lecturer, and Episcopal priest

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Media (Pensilvania) para niños

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