Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Lower Merion Township
Township
Motto: "A First-Class Township"
Country United States of America
State Pennsylvania
County Montgomery
Elevation200 ft (61 m)
Coordinates39°59′00″N 75°15′59″W / 39.98333°N 75.26639°W / 39.98333; -75.26639
Area23.9 sq mi (61.9 km2)
 - land23.7 sq mi (61 km2)
 - water0.2 sq mi (1 km2), 0.84%
Population57,825 (2010)
Density2,526.1 / sq mi (975.3 / km2)
TimezoneEST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Area code610
Location of Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County
Location of Lower Merion Township in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Website: http://www.lowermerion.org/
 
  (Redirected from Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania)
Jump to: navigation, search
Coordinates: 39°59′00″N 75°15′59″W / 39.98333°N 75.26639°W / 39.98333; -75.26639
Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Lower Merion Township
Township
Motto: "A First-Class Township"
Country United States of America
State Pennsylvania
County Montgomery
Elevation200 ft (61 m)
Coordinates39°59′00″N 75°15′59″W / 39.98333°N 75.26639°W / 39.98333; -75.26639
Area23.9 sq mi (61.9 km2)
 - land23.7 sq mi (61 km2)
 - water0.2 sq mi (1 km2), 0.84%
Population57,825 (2010)
Density2,526.1 / sq mi (975.3 / km2)
TimezoneEST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Area code610
Location of Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County
Location of Lower Merion Township in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Website: http://www.lowermerion.org/

Lower Merion Township is a township in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and part of the Pennsylvania Main Line. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the township had a total population of 57,825. Lower Merion has the 5th highest per-capita income[citation needed] and the 12th highest median household income[citation needed] in the country with a population of 50,000 or more.

The name Merion originates with the county of Merioneth in north Wales. Merioneth is an English-language translation of the Welsh Meirionnydd.

Lower Merion, along with Upper Darby, Haverford, Cheltenham, and Bensalem together form as the major inner ring suburbs of Philadelphia.

History[edit]

Lower Merion Township was first settled in 1682 by Welsh Quakers who were granted a tract of land (the Welsh Tract) by William Penn. In 1713, Lower Merion was established as an independent Township with about 52 landholders and tenants. In 1900, the Township was incorporated as a Township of the First Class. Lower Merion is home to the oldest continuously used place of worship in the United States, the Merion Friends Meeting House, used continuously since 1695.

The Mill Creek Historic District, and Seville Theatre are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1] Green Hill Farms was added in 2011.

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 23.9 square miles (61.8 km²), of which, 23.7 square miles (61.4 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (0.67%) is water.

The Township is bounded by the City of Philadelphia, the Boroughs of Conshohocken and West Conshohocken, and the Townships of Upper Merion and Whitemarsh in Montgomery County and by the Townships of Haverford and Radnor in Delaware County. The Borough of Narberth, although a separate political entity of one-half square mile, is completely surrounded by the Township.

Forming the Township's southern border is City (Line) Avenue (U.S. Route 1) separating it from the City of Philadelphia. Along City Ave, starting with the Schuylkill Expressway and continuing on to Lord & Taylor at Belmont Avenue in Bala Cynwyd, is what is known as the "Golden Mile"[citation needed] which also includes the radio and television studios of WCAU, the Exxon Building, the Fox Building and the Germantown Savings Bank Building. In back of these buildings are the One-Ninety-One Condominiums and the Bala Cynwyd Plazas.

The Township's eastern border is along the Schuylkill River which is paralleled by the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76), a limited access roadway that connects to Philadelphia and the Valley Forge Interchange of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The famed Mid-County Interchange is located just outside the Township.

Other highways serving the Township are U.S. Route 30 and Pennsylvania Routes 23 and 320.

Before European settlement, Lower Merion's dense forest was home to bears, cougars, wolves, rattlesnakes, otters, beavers, weasels, turkeys, grouses, woodland bison, trout, and bald eagles. When Europeans arrived, they began cutting down the forests, chasing away much of the wildlife. After World War Two, Lower Merion transformed from a farming township to a suburban one, and wildlife changed accordingly. Today, red foxes, white-footed mice, horned owls, skunks, raccoons, crayfish, songbirds, butterflies, and white-tailed deer populate the township.[2]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
CensusPop.
193035,166
194039,56612.5%
195048,74523.2%
196059,42021.9%
197063,5947.0%
198059,635−6.2%
199058,003−2.7%
200059,8503.2%
201057,825−3.4%
www.dvrpc.org/data/databull/rdb/db82/appedixa.xls.</ref>

As of the 2010 census, the township was 85.7% White, 5.6% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 6.0% Asian, and 1.9% were two or more races. 3.0% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry.[3]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 59,850 people, 22,868 households, and 15,024 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,526.1 people per square mile (975.4/km²). There were 23,699 housing units at an average density of 1,000.3/sq mi (386.2/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 90.30% White, 4.50% African American, 0.08% Native American, 3.42% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.60% of the population.

There were 22,868 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the township the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64 and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 83.5 males. For every 100 women aged 18 and over, there were 78.7 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $86,373 and the median income for a family was $115,694 (these figures had risen to $114,608 and $148,123 respectively as of a 2007 estimate[5]). Men had a median income of $77,692 versus $43,793 for women. The per capita income for the township was $55,526. About 1.9% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 5.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government and Politics[edit]

Presidential elections results
YearRepublicanDemocrat
200829.1% 10,74770.4% 26,006
200433.0% 11,99066.7% 24,262
200032.0% 10,65765.9% 21,946
199635.1% 10,77459.1% 18,178
199235.6% 12,24954.7% 18,814

Lower Merion is a first-class township with 14 commissioners elected by ward.

Rail stations[edit]

Lower Merion Township is the heart of the affluent Pennsylvania Main Line series of suburban communities, named after the "Main Line" railroad that runs through the township. Now known as the SEPTA Paoli/Thorndale Line, the rail line has station stops in Lower Merion in the following communities within the township:

The SEPTA Cynwyd Line, with weekday service, has stops at:

Economy[edit]

Top employers[edit]

According to Lower Merion Township's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[6] the top employers in the city are:

#Employer# of EmployeesCommunity
1Main Line Health
(Lankenau Hospital and Bryn Mawr Hospital)
4,480Wynnewood and Bryn Mawr
2Lower Merion School District1,650Ardmore
3Bryn Mawr College1,712Bryn Mawr
4Susquehanna International Group1,012Bala Cynwyd
5Philadelphia Insurance Companies763Bala Cynwyd
6Township of Lower Merion535Ardmore
7Maxim Healthcare Services499Bala Cynwyd
8Harcum College408Bryn Mawr
9Oracle397Radnor
10Great Valley Health383

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Lower Merion High School, pre-renovation building

Pupils living in the Lower Merion Township attend schools in the Lower Merion School District unless they go to a private school. The educational roots of the township stretch back to the Lower Merion Academy, one of the first public schools in the country.

There are six elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools (Lower Merion and Harriton High School). Students are split between schools depending on location of residence.

Notable Graduates[edit]

Basketball star Kobe Bryant attended Lower Merion High School. He led the Aces to the state championship in 1996. Producer Marshall Herskovitz was also once a student at Lower Merion High School. Author Lisa Scottoline graduated from Lower Merion High School. Ronald Reagan's first secretary of state, Alexander Haig, graduated from Lower Merion High School, as did Robert Fagles. Lawrence Summers, the former president of Harvard University and the 71st Secretary of the Treasury, graduated from Harriton High School.

Actor David Boreanaz attended Rosemont School of the Holy Child in the Rosemont section of Lower Merion Township. His father, Dave Roberts, is a weatherman for WPVI-TV's Action News in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Private schools[edit]

Rosemont School of the Holy Child, located in Rosemont and in Lower Merion Township, is affiliated with but not governed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The school is adjacent to Rosemont College.

Other private schools in the area include: the Shipley School, the Baldwin School, Waldron Mercy Academy, the Haverford School, the Agnes Irwin School, Friends Central School, and other schools outside the area.

Colleges and universities[edit]

Rosemont College's Main Building
Bryn Mawr College's Pembroke Hall

Bryn Mawr College, Harcum College, Rosemont College, and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary are located in Lower Merion Township. The campus of Saint Joseph's University straddles the city line between Lower Merion and Philadelphia while Haverford College straddles the lines between Lower Merion and Haverford Townships.

Notable people[edit]

School laptop webcam spying incident[edit]

In 2010, the township received national media attention when a student filed a lawsuit after a school administrator used the webcam of a school issued laptop to spy on the student while the student was in his home. See Robbins v. Lower Merion School District for more information.

In the case of Harriton High, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believe that it constitutes an infringement, and filed an amicus brief in support of the victim.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ Jones, Dick, ed. The First 300: the amazing and rich history of Lower Merion. Ardmore, PA: The Lower Merion Historical Society, 2000.
  3. ^ Census 2010: Pennsylvania. Usatoday.Com. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ American FactFinder. Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  6. ^ Township of Lower Merion CAFR

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Haverford Township
Delaware County
Bordering communities
of Philadelphia
Succeeded by
Whitemarsh Township