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History in Port Richmond, PA

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The personal injury attorneys in Port Richmond, PA, have sponsored this article to present you with some detailed information about the area.

Port Richmond is a charming neighborhood in the River Waters section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The vibrant neighborhood is home to a large Polish American and Irish American community and has recently been home to a sizable Albanian population. The Port Richmond area is within ZIP codes 19134 and 19125.


During the 1800s, Port Richmond was a significant terminus for colliers who transported coal from the Reading Railroad facility. Colliers, among other merchant ships, continued to visit Port Richmond following World War I.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Port Richmond was a working-class neighborhood. Many European immigrants migrated to Port Richmond to work hard to afford modest row homes, similar to those you see today on Chatham Street. The homes were a mere twelve feet wide, and the entire length of the home was twenty-four feet and was connected by commons walls which helped the homes retain heat.

Chatham Street homes later expanded to be approximately sixteen feet wide and consisted of more bedrooms.

Port Richmond played a significant role in the American wars. The William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company, established in 1830, provided work for residents who built the battleships USS Indiana and the USS Massachusetts for the Spanish–American War in the late 19th century. The shipyard also employed 18,000 skilled workers to build surface ships during the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

During World War II, Port Richmond hosted numerous docks for loading and unloading war cargo. Additionally, the riverside area contained several ancillary warehouses, workshops, and offices. Today, the port is smaller than during World War II, but some marine services remain, such as the Tioga Marine Terminal at Tioga and Delaware Avenue.

Historic Sites

There is a strong, proud cultural history in a vibrant and diverse area such as Port Richmond. The National Register of Historic Places has recognized this history. Some historical sites in Port Richmond include,

  • The Russell H. Conwell Middle School; designed by Irwin T. Catharine and built from 1925–1926.
  • The George L. Horn School; built from 1902–1904 in the Late Gothic Revival style.
  • The John Paul Jones Junior High School, now named the Memphis Street Academy; designed by Irwin T. Catherine and built from 1923- 1924.
  •  The James Martin School; built from 1894-1896 and expanded in 1922.
  • The Thomas Powers School; built from 1899-1900 in the Romanesque style.
  • The Richmond School; built from 1928-1929 in the late Gothic Revival style.
  • The Francis E. Willard School; built from 1907-1908 in the Class Revival style.


In the culturally diverse area of Port Richmond. According to the U.S. 201o census, the racial demographic is as follows:

  • 76.7% non-Hispanic white
  • 14.7% Hispanic of any race
  • 5.8% non-Hispanic black
  • 1.8% Asian
  • 1.1% all other

However, the U.S. census 2014 estimate suggests that area is much more diverse. Port Richmond spans 2 zip codes, and across ZIP code 19134, there are 23,000 Puerto Rican and 5,550 Polish American residents. Additionally, within ZIP code 19125, there are 1,400 Polish American residents.

If you're looking to reside in or visit a culturally diverse area with a stunning, deep history, then Port Richmond, Pennsylvania, might be the place for you.

Continue reading: A Deeper Look into West Kensington, PA

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Philadelphia, PA 19134
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David Petrone
Date Published: May 11, 2021
David Petrone is a personal injury attorney at Justice Guardians.
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