Mt. Airy essentially started as a vacation area! Wealthy Philadelphia residents would build second homes in Mt. Airy to escape the stifling summer heat in the City. Mt. Airy sits at a much higher elevation than Center City, and sees cooler temperatures as a result. (Check out the full history of the neighborhood here!)
The original vacationer was Chief Justice William Allen (think Allens Lane), whose vacation home, called Mount Airy, eventually began to represent the neighborhood. Justice Allen’s home was on Germantown Ave where Allens Lane is now.
Mt. Airy was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia with Germantown in 1854.
Today, Mt. Airy almost feels like a suburb, but it is still part of Philadelphia proper, and is well-served by SEPTA bus and regional rail lines.
The neighborhood is incredibly leafy and green. There are tree-lined blocks everywhere you look. Lots of mature trees and manicured lawns!
According to the census, Mt. Airy is incredibly diverse, both racially and socioeconomically. The neighborhood has a long history of fighting for equality, which resulted in the magnificent melting-pot that exists today.
Because of the neighborhood’s long and rich history, there are loads of historic homes in the area. You can see 300 years of architectural history, just by walking around the neighborhood!
Mt. Airy has a home for everyone! There are apartments, row houses, twins, and lots of impressive single family homes in the area, which is representative of the history of development in the neighborhood.