East Falls is a neighborhood in the Northwest section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. East Falls is located adjacent to Roxborough, Manayunk, and Germantown. The neighborhood runs along a stretch of Ridge Avenue that is only a few miles long, along the banks of the Schuylkill River, and then extends northeast to Wissahickon Avenue. It is a neighborhood that is constantly under development and redevelopment, with new housing, retail space and recreation centers in production. It features three streets in proximity with the word “Queen” in them (Queen Lane, New Queen Lane, and Indian Queen Lane), two train stations, a number of bars and restaurants, a small Korean grocer, illustrious mansions as well as some recently renovated affordable housing.
Recently, East Falls has been undergoing a regeneration in the hopes of elevating it to the status of Manayunk and other shopping districts in the Philadelphia area. Many restaurants and coffee shops have been built, but most have had limited financial success. One substantial addition, The Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center, has recently been completed. It will offer instruction to Philadelphia youth in its new 9.2 acre, sixteen court facility and operate in cooperation with the City of Philadelphia, School District of Philadelphia, and others. It was built in partnership with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania along with private funding.
East Falls is best known as the childhood home of Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco. In addition, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter and Pennsylvania Governor, writer and divorce mediator Sam Margulies, Jewish studies scholar Chaim Potok, and former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell have homes in East Falls. Ravenhill Academy, a Catholic girls school run by the Mothers of the Assumption from the Philippines, was attended by Grace Kelly and the former President of the Philippines Corazon Aquino. It was closed in 1977 and now is part of the Philadelphia University campus. It is a common misconception that Frank Sinatra exchanged nuptials with his second wife, Ava Gardner, in another campus building, a house on the corner of School House Lane and Henry Avenue.
East Falls is also known for its central location, an easy commute to Center City, and with easy access to several major roadways or public transportation.
Before the arrival of European settlers, the Lenni Lenape Indians considered the lower Schuylkill River their home. The Wissahickon Creek runs into the Schuylkill here and today is included as a part of Fairmount Park, providing walking and bike paths along its banks. Wissahickon is a merging of two Lenape words: “Wisaucksickan” meaning “yellow-colored creek”, and “Wisamickan” meaning “catfish creek”. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries “catfish and waffles” was a favorite food at the many inns and taverns that ran through the valley, and a catfish still serves as the weathervane atop the Free Library of Philadelphia Falls of Schuylkill Branch. East Falls was named in the nineteenth century for the river rapids that were present before the completion of the Fairmount Dam. It had earlier been known as Falls of the Schuylkill or Falls Village.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia