A Quick History of Southwest Philadelphia, PA

The slip and fall attorneys in Southwest Philadelphia, PA, at Philly Slip And Fall Guys, have provided some details on the community’s history and attractions.

Southwest Philadelphia

The region of Southwest Philadephia is located in Philadelphia County in the state of Pennsylvania. The Schuylkill River flows on the eastern border and the area is just south of Baltimore Avenue. The 6,784-acre area follows the railroad tracks to 49th Street. The communities included in the region are Eastwick, Kingsessing, and Elmwood Park. The Philadelphia International Airport is just south of the area.


The area was once the Kingsessing Township and was initially settled by a group of Swedes in 1646. Once William Penn took control of the area, it became known as the township, and it was incorporated in 1854.

During much of the 19th and 19th centuries, there were mainly farms, market gardens, and orchards. The area became a significant hub for both florist gardens and nurseries within the county. This included the 50-acre Bartram’s Garden, often referred to as Kingsess Garden, founded by John Bartram. The garden is one of the longest surviving botanical gardens and has even been entered as  National Historic Landmark. It was first established in 1728 on the Lenape territory. Three notable tree types that are included in the garden are:

  • Franklinia alatamaha (Franklin Tree)
  • Cladrastis kentukea (Yellowwood)
  • Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo) – this is the oldest ginkgo tree in North America

The John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum is located along Darby Creek in the southwestern region of the community, established in 1972. This reserve offers many nature trails and programs. Other parks located in the area include:

  • McCreesh Playground and Skatepark
  • Connell Park
  • Buist Park
  • 63rd and Lindbergh Park
  • Eastwick Park


The community is home to the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, located on Norwitch Drive. The museum has one of the world’s largest collections of racing sports cars. The museum was established over 50 years ago by Dr. Frederick Simeone. Simeone began collecting cars as a young man, and his passion has grown to be shared with the residents and visitors of the community. The museum even has designated days that cars are taken out into the 3-acre lot for demonstrations. His collection includes models from car makers such as:

  • Ferrari
  • Alfa Romeo
  • Bugatti
  • Mercedes
  • Jaguar
  • Bentley
  • Porsche
  • Aston Martin
  • Corvette
  • Ford


The community had a population count of approximately 123,829. The breakdown of races within the townspeople include the following:

  • 60% African American
  • 36% white
  • 4% Asian

Prior to the 1960s, the area was a haven for Irish Americans. Refugees from Vietnam began to settle into the neighborhoods, followed by African Americans. Most of the immigrants are refugees from Liberia with ancestries from:

  • Gio
  • Mano
  • Mandinka
  • Bassa
  • Grebo
  • Kru

Continue reading: Getting to Know the History of West Philadelphia, PA

Our Local Office

If you have recently been hurt during a fall, call the Southwest Philadelphia, PA, slip and fall attorneys at Philly Slip And Fall Guys. Our experienced team will evaluate your claim for free so that you can explore all of your legal options.

Philly Slip And Fall Guys
1617 John F Kennedy Blvd #355,
Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA
(215) 268-6898