ELKINS PARK, PA
Elkins Park is an unincorporated community in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is split between Cheltenham and Abington Townships in the northern suburbs outside of Philadelphia, which it borders along Cheltenham Avenue roughly from Center City. It is four station stops from Center City on Septa Regional Rail. It was listed as a census-designated place prior to the 2020 census.
Historically Elkins Park was home to Philadelphia's early 20th century business elite, among them John B. Stetson, John Wanamaker, Henry W. Breyer, Jay Cooke, William Lukens Elkins and Peter A.B. Widener. In the later 20th century it was home to Ralph J. Roberts, co-founder of Comcast, as well as to the Gimbels family, founders of the department store chain.
Today it remains home to many gilded age mansions such as Lynnewood Hall, a 110-room, neoclassical estate, the Elkins Estate presently being restored as a hotel-spa, distillery and events center and the Henry West Breyer Sr. House, the former residence of the ice cream magnate which now serves as the Cheltenham Township Municipal building.
In 2018 New York Magazine described Elkins Park as "an old, elegant neighborhood of close-clustered homes". It is notable for its varied architectural styles (among them: Modern, American colonial and Dutch colonial, Queen Anne, English Cottage and Tudor) its wealth of homes designed by renowned 19th and 20th century architects such as Horace Trumbauer, Louis Kahn and Robert A.M. Stern and its diversity of religious institutions. With six synagogues it also makes up the foundation of the "Old York Road Corridor" of the Philadelphia area Jewish community, supported by the approximately 25,000 Jews in the Cheltenham-Jenkintown-Abington region. Seasonally Elkins Park hosts a variety of religious and cultural festivals such as the "Taste of Greece" food festival, the Romanian food festival, the Serbian food festival, various Jewish festivals such as a multi-congregation Purim celebration, and arts festivals like "Arts in the Park".
Though distinct communities, the neighborhoods of Melrose Park and historic La Mott share a postal code with Elkins Park.
Points of interest
Elkins Park is split between Cheltenham and Abington Townships in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. It is represented by Madeleine Dean in Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district.
The portion in Cheltenham Township is zoned to Cheltenham Township School District.
The portion in Abington Township is zoned to Abington School District.
Elkins Park is served by SEPTA Regional Rail trains on the Glenside Line, Warminster Line, West Trenton Line and Lansdale/Doylestown Line at the Elkins Park station. The Jenkintown and Melrose Park stations are also found near the neighborhood of Elkins Park, and are served by the same regional rail lines. SEPTA bus routes 28, 55, 70 and 77 also provide service to Elkins Park.
Toward the western end of Elkins Park is Pennsylvania Route 611 (Old York Road). In Elkins Park, Pennsylvania Route 73 runs along Township Line Road, mostly marking the border between Cheltenham and Abington townships.
In popular culture
In the AMC period drama television series Mad Men, the character Betty Draper was raised in the "tiny Philadelphia suburb of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania". During the show's second season, Betty's father has a series of strokes, and is taken to "Elkins Park Hospital". This would have actually been the former Rolling Hill Hospital, which opened in 1953, and is now known as MossRehab and Einstein at Elkins Park, part of the Einstein Healthcare Network.
Ann Patchett's 2019 novel The Dutch House is primarily set in Elkins Park.
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