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Wissahickon, Philadelphia facts for kids

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Ridge Ave. over Wissahickon Creek in Wissahickon
Ridge Ave. over Wissahickon Creek in Wissahickon
Country  United States
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia County
City Philadelphia
Area code(s) Area code 215

Wissahickon is a neighborhood in the section of Lower Northwest Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania. Wissahickon is located adjacent to the neighborhoods of Roxborough and Manayunk, and it is bounded by the Wissahickon Valley Park, Ridge Avenue, Hermit Street, and Henry Avenue. The name of the neighborhood comes from the Lenni Lenape word wisameckham, for "catfish creek", a reference to the species of fish that once abound in the nearby Wissahickon Creek .

Historic Structures

  • The 100 Steps: Located at the base of Freeland Avenue, these broad stairs were built in 1901 of Wissahickon granite and local ironwork. Restoration work was completed between 2003-05 as steps were repaired, new lighting was installed, and railings were replaced. The 100 Steps offer a convenient route to the trails in Wissahickon Valley Park.
  • Merrick Hall: Located on the 5300 block of Ridge Avenue, this is the oldest building on Northern Children’s Services campus. Designed by noted Philadelphia architect Lindley Johnson in the 1870s, it was originally the former home of 19th century industrialist J. Vaughn Merrick. The house was renovated in 1927 by the well-known Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer and more recently in 2012-14 by Philadelphia architecture firm Jacobs Wyper Architects.
  • Northern Children's Services: Located on the 5300 block of Ridge Avenue, this is a cluster of stone buildings, including four dormitories, an infirmary, a dining hall and kitchen, a gymnasium, a library and meeting rooms, designed and altered by Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer in 1927 on a six-acre campus aimed at helping children and their families do better.
  • St. Timothy's Workingmen's Club and Institute: Located at the intersection of Ridge Avenue, Terrace Street, and Vassar Street, and founded in 1872, this club provided free educational opportunities for working men, including night classes in mechanical drawing, engineering, and chemistry, until 1913 when it ceased operations.
  • LaNoce Park: Bounded by Osborn Street, Rochelle Avenue, and Kalos Street, this park is the site of the former Wissahickon Public School and was established in 1984 by way of transfer to the Fairmount Park Commission. It was named for former local barber and community leader Sabatina LaNoce who died in 1980.
  • The Ridge Avenue Bridge: Located at the southern edge of the neighborhood, it is a triple-span stone arch bridge built in 1888 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. The bridge carries Ridge Avenue over the Wissahickon Creek and into East Falls.


One SEPTA Regional Rail line connects the neighborhood to Center City: the Manayunk/Norristown Line stops at the Wissahickon station. The station was once home to a building designed by the renowned architect Frank Furness; however, the building was later demolished. Improvements were made to the existing station, and during Summer 2016, local artist and Moore College of Art & Design faculty member, David Guinn painted a mural on a retaining wall running along the outbound platform of the station, coordinated by the Wissahickon Interested Citizen's Association, Mural Arts Program, and Cook-Wissahickon School.

The neighborhood is also served by bus routes 9, 27, and 65. The Wissahickon Transfer Station offers connecting service to routes 1, 9, 27, 35, 38, 61, 62, 65, 124, 125, & R.

Civic Association

The local civic association is called Wissahickon Interested Citizen's Association. Public meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month at Northern Children's Services.

Coordinates: 40°01′05″N 75°11′24″W / 40.018°N 75.190°W / 40.018; -75.190

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