Getting to Know the History of West Philadelphia, PA

The slip and fall lawyers in West Philadelphia, PA, at Philly Slip And Fall Guys, have offered some of the neighborhood’s history along with all it has to offer its residents and visitors.

West Philadelphia

West Philadelphia is the region of the city generally located to the west of the Schuylkill River and is located in Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. The region encompasses ZIP codes 19104, 19131, 19139, 19143, and 19151. It takes up approximately 9,088 acres. The bodies of water included in the area are the Belmont Reservoir, Concourse Lake, Centennial Lake, and Cobbs Creek.


In 1735, Andrew Hamilton purchased land from descendants of William Warner, the first known European settler in the region. Warner’s estate is now the site of the Woodlands Cemetery. The cemetery was established in 1840 and included over 1,000 trees in its arboretum. Many famous people from Philadelphia are buried in this cemetery.

Clark Park sits on what was once the site for the largest hospital for the Union Army during the Civil war, the Satterlee Hospital. It was founded by Surgeon-General William Alexander Hammond and was in operation from 1862 until 1865. Thousands of soldiers were treated by the doctors and nurses that worked in the hospital. At one point, it was the second-largest hospital in the country, and its tents contained as many as 4,500 beds.

Some of the earliest developments started in 1850, but most of the construction ended in 1930. It contained some of the most expensive homes in the country. Many of the Victorian-era structures are still standing. However, over the last 50 years, many upper and middle-class households have moved out of the area due to crime.


Within the region is the 2,000-acre Fairmount Park. This park sits on the Schuylkill River that separates the east and west portion of the city. The site was initially farmland owned by Robert Morris, a financier during the Revolutionary War. When Morris was forced into bankruptcy, he sold the farm to a businessman that converted the area into a beautiful garden. It did not become a park until after it was sold again to a city councilman in 1843. This stopped the contamination of the river and allowed the area to be developed to preserve the natural features.

Many rows of Victorian-era homes can be seen along the roads. Other attractions include:

  • Shofuso Japanese House and Garden
  • Sweetbriar Mansion
  • Smith Memorial Arch
  • Please Touch Museum
  • Ohio House
  • The Mann Center
  • Fairmount Park Horticulture Center


The communities that make up the western section of the city had a population of 216,433 in 2010. The diverse area included the following:

  • 76.2% Non-Hispanic Black or African-American
  • 17.1% Non-Hispanic White/European
  • 2.0% Hispanic or Latino
  • 1.9% American Indian
  • 1.5% Asian
  • 1.3% Mixed Races or Other

Follow along for more interesting facts: A Quick History of Southwest Philadelphia, PA

Our Local Office

Don’t let a trip, slip, or fall keep you down; call the West Philadelphia, PA, slip and fall lawyers at Philly Slip And Fall Guys. The experienced team can help you get your benefits without delay. Call for a free claim evaluation.

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