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Discovering the History of University City, PA

The following article has been presented by the personal injury attorneys in University City, PA, at Justice Guardians; how much did you already know?

University City

The neighborhood of University City is located in the eastern region of West Philadelphia, in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Nearby communities include Kingsessing, Grays Ferry, Cobbs Creek, and Fairmont. The main thoroughfares are Walnut Street, Chestnut Street, Market Street, and North 38th Street. The Schuylkill Expressway travels along the southern corner of the community, in addition to the Schuylkill River. 


In the mid-1950s, two prominent realtors and University of Pennsylvania graduates neologized the name "University City" in order to attract the university's faculty to move back to the neighborhoods. The boundaries were quickly assigned from the Schuylkill River to 52nd Street and Haverford Avenue to the Media-line railroad tracks just south of Kingsessing Avenue. Some residents thought it was an attempt to secede from West Philadelphia, and it has caused some community tension.

Neighborhood Attraction

The Penn Museum is located within the community on South Street. The museum takes pride in its location on the grounds that historically were home to the Unami Lenape Native Americans. It was founded in 1887 and continuously strives to provide artifacts and archaeology from across the world for its guests to see. Included is a 15-ton Egyptian sphinx that is 3,000 years old. Some other exhibitions include:

  • Ancient Egypt
  • Living with the Sea
  • The Stories We Wear

The Philadelphia Dance Company, also called Philadanco, is located on North Preston Street. The professional dance studio was founded in 1970 by Joan Myers Brown. The institution was initially formed so African-American students could attend when they were not allowed at other institutions. Many performances are scheduled each year, including works from dance innovators like Christopher Huggins and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. 

Local Institutions

The community stands behind its name with the inclusion of many educational institutions inside its borders over many decades. Some of the higher education facilities include:

  • 1740 - University of Pennsylvania
  • 1891 - Drexel University
  • 1821 - University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
  • 1965 - Community College of Philadelphia, West Regional Center 
  • 1854 - Lincoln University 
  • 1974 - The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College

Also located within the neighborhood are many medical facilities and scientific institutes, such as:

  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 
  • Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
  • VA Medical Center, Philadelphia 
  • Monell Chemical Senses Center
  • University City Science Center
  • Wistar Institute


The neighborhood population was 50,967 in 2014. From 2000 to 2014, it increased by 2.6%. There are approximately 25,183 males and 25,783 females within the community. The area is quite diverse and includes the following:

  • 56.4% White
  • 5.0% Hispanic or Latino
  • 13.7% African American or Black
  • 20.7% Asian
  • 2.4% Two or More Races Mixed
  • 1.6% Other Races

There are an estimated 11,555 blue-collar workers and 32,935 white-collar workers. Some of the common professions include:

  • 19.0% Education
  • 13.7% Administrative
  • 9.5% Science
  • 6.8% Management
  • 6.3% Sales and Related
  • 5.0% Food Service

Follow along to learn more about the greater area: All About Kingsessing, PA 

Our Local Office

The experienced University City, PA, personal injury attorneys at Justice Guardians are here to serve the greater Philadelphia area. If you have been injured due to the neglect of another, call our legal team for a free case evaluation, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

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5327 Walnut St #201
Philadelphia, PA 19139
(267) 313-5200

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David Petrone
Date Published: November 25, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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