7.7 out of 10

Fairmount/Art Museum

Ranked 12th best neighborhood in Philadelphia
39.9713631493433 -75.1777770222939
Great for
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Safe & Sound
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Medical Facilities
  • Shopping Options
  • Schools
  • Public Transport
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
2yrs+

"Fairmount - Enjoy The Park and The River"

Fairmount is a neighborhood just north of Center City. It begins at the Art Museum and is bounded on the east by 20th Street. To the south is the Benjamin Franklin Parkway which runs from City Hall to the Art Museum and is modeled after Paris’ Champs Elysees.

Three historic institutions are located here: The Fairmount Dam and Water Works, Girard College and the Eastern State Pennitenary. The Fairmount Dam and Water Works was built in 1822 and used to pump water from the Schuylkill River into the residences and businesses of Philadelphia. It now hosts quaint dining facilities.

Girard College is famous for the protests led by Attorney Cecil B. Moore which prompted a judge to break the will of Stephen Girard which banned African Americans from attending. Built in 1831, Girard College had been limited to poor, orphaned Caucasian boys.

The Eastern State Pennitenary was built in 1829 for the purpose of rehabilitating prisoners rather than merely incarceration. Tours are available the entire year however they are especially popular during the Halloween Season.

Boat House Row, along the Schuylkill River, maintains 10 rowing clubs, most of which are affiliated with the universities.
Bus routes run from Center City northward but there are no trolleys or Regional Rails that service the area. Walking and biking is prevalent.
Pros
  • clean streets
  • close to museums
  • trees
Cons
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Cute and Cozy Neighborhood"

While there isn't much to actually do in Fairmount in terms of shopping and attractions, this location definitely feels like a neighborhood. The Fairmount and Art Museum neighborhoods feature some of the most picturesque streets in Philly, with brownstone and tree lined streets. A lot of people, both renters and home owners, are packed into this relatively small neighborhood.

One of the best parts about this neighborhood is the park - Fairmount/Art Museum stretches along Boathouse Row and Kelly Drive, giving access to the biking/walking path and park areas that are really nice when the temps are warm. However, because of its proximity to the Art Museum, there's often a lot of traffic.

Fairmount Ave is definitely the place to go for food and drinks in this neighborhood. The street is lined with restaurants and bars, and can get pretty busy, especially when the weather is nice. Fairmount also has a couple smaller restaurants and BYOBs that are off the main drag, a favorite of mine being Umai Umai.

Overall, this neighborhood is a great place to rent or buy since it's close to center city (within walking distance at some points) and has a great neighborhood feel. The downside is that you pay for being close to the city in a nicer neighborhood, so rental and purchase rates can be high.
Pros
  • clean streets
  • close to museums
  • trees
Cons
  • expensive
  • high traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Not just for artists!"

The Fairmount/Art Museum area is one of the greener, more expensive areas in Philadelphia, filled with settled homeowners and renters. It is named for the bordering Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is one of the largest art museums in the country. The area reflects the surrounding arts and culture in both aesthetic appeal and lifestyle.

Aside from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, other cultural landmarks include the Rodin Museum, the Perelman Building and the beautiful Boathouse Row, which has been featured in a variety of paintings and photographs since its construction in the early 19th century. It is home to 15 boathouses, where rowing and social clubs practice and mingle. Another draw is Eastern State Penitentiary, a former prison that is open for tours year-round, and is converted into a large-scale haunted house for a few months leading up to Halloween.

All of these attractions draw a large crowd of tourists, however since residential streets are set off from the main drag, foot traffic is not an issue. The residential areas do still see an active nightlife; popular nightspots include Fairmount Avenue, which features corner coffee shops and bars, like Bishop’s Collar and Urban Saloon. These places tend to draw a professional crowd, ranging from mid twenties to mid forties.

Most of the homes are row homes with historic architectural details, and some have small front yards and gardens – something very hard to come by in the city. The area is well maintained since buyers outnumber renters. These buyers are typically people who work downtown but don’t want to be surrounded by the extreme hustle and bustle of Center City.

Parking is easy to find, but traffic can be an issue on weekends due to the close proximity to the museum district. The area is safe, but as you head out of bounds towards North Broad Street, you need to be more aware of your surroundings. Overall, the area is a highly populated nook of Philadelphia, known for culture and artistic relevance.
Pros
  • cultural landmarks
  • great nightlife
  • clean and quaint
Cons
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"More than just museums"

The Fairmount neighborhood is one of the nicest residential sections of Philadelphia with newly renovated row homes. Obviously this makes it one of the most expensive areas to live in; a number of the residents are homeowners. Fairmount is surrounded by amazing architecture like that of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Eastern State Penitentiary. It’s one of the few neighborhoods, like parts of West Philadelphia that has managed to keep greenery around it. This has a lot to do with the residents of this neighborhood maintaining its appearance.

There is a lot to do around Fairmount as it is close to the Parkway, the hub of museums in Philadelphia but there are also small coffee shops and dining establishments throughout the neighborhood. They are a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the touristy part of the district.

Parking is relatively easy with some sections being limited to a 2 hours. During the Halloween season the neighborhood gets a little hectic with the high volume of traffic attracted by Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, the annual haunted walkthrough attraction. It brings in thousands of people but those affiliated with the event are great about respecting those who live in the neighborhood.
Overall, Fairmount is great neighborhood to visit all year round if you can’t afford to live there.
Pros
  • clean streets
  • trees
  • close to museums
Cons
  • high traffic
  • expensive
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish

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