Local Analysis – Bridesburg


According to Wikipedia, “Bridesburg, the northernmost of Philadelphia’s River Wards, is a river-front neighborhood just south and east the Northeast section of PhiladelphiaPennsylvaniaUnited States.  Bridesburg is an historically German and Irish community, with a significant community of Polish immigrants who arrived mostly in the early- to mid-twentieth century. The community is home to two Catholic churches: All Saints Church, designed by Edwin Forrest Durang,[1] built in 1889 (the subject property); and Saint John Cantius Church, built sometime after 1892 in Polish Cathedral style.”[1]

According to Plan Philly, “Bridesburg, originally called “Kirkbridesburg”, was originally inhabited by the Lenni Lenape Indians, and up until 1609 no white man had set foot into the region. Henry Hudson was the first European to arrive in the region. But by 1638, the Swedes had established a settlement in the area called “New Sweden,” in which the Swedish people lived in harmony with the native people of the region. It was not until the 1680s that William Penn and other Englishmen arrived to the region and developed this area. One of the new buildings that these men built was the Bridesburg Manufacturing Company, a factory that proved to be vital for producing muskets during the Civil War. As the inhabitants changed, the name of this area did too; it was first “New Sweden,” then it was “Point, No Point,” then “Kirkbridesburg,” and finally became “Bridesburg,” which remains its name today. Bridesburg’s diverse culture can still be seen today in the dozens of churches established by each wave of immigrants. Today the area is as diverse as it ever was, continuing to bring in different traditions and beliefs to the community.”[2]

According to local residents, “The majority of properties in Bridesburg are row homes with small front and/or backyards.  Its location along the Delaware River allows for beautiful waterfront views.  Frankford Creek also runs throughout the neighborhood.  Community bonds are strong and neighbors come together frequently at the many churches.  Small restaurants and delis are also common which acts as yet another cozy meeting place for neighbors and friends. Large, Philly-based companies enjoy having their headquarters in Bridesburg due to the quiet nature of the area, yet close proximity to Center City; some of these companies include Dietz and Watson and Northeast Building Products. Major roadways including Richmond Street. Interstate 95 and the Betsy Ross Bridge make easy access to other portions of Philadelphia and the neighbor state of New Jersey. Parking can be problematic sometimes, but not always on all blocks. There is a SEPTA station in the vicinity but Bridesburg is not substantially stocked with public transportation, so it is better to have access to a vehicle.  There aren’t many shopping and restaurant options within Bridesburg. However, Aramingo Avenue is right outside of the neighborhood and the strip holds the majority of shops and restaurants that most people look for. Bridesburg neighbors tend to know each other by relation or by merely growing up in one of the smaller neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The area is as quiet as you could expect from an inner city neighborhood. There isn’t much of a nightlife, but the area has so many activities through the recreation center that it isn’t needed.”[3]

New development projects in Brideburg include the new 10-acre park along the waterfront near Orthodox Street. In addition to green space and a lawn, the park will include a rain garden, meadow, stage, boardwalk, event plaza, trail head and river outlook spot. In addition, last year the City opened the first phase of the Delaware Avenue Extension project, marking the first new roadway built in the city in almost 30 years.  The extension connects Port Richmond to Bridesburg, stretching Delaware Avenue from Lewis Street across Frankford Creek to Orthodox Street.

According to the 2010 census from the US Census, the total population for the 19137 Zip Code (of which Bridesburg forms the major part) was 8,638 with 3,515 total housing units. This is a 7% population increase form the 2000 census population count of 8,069 with 3,427 housing units.  Median household income per the 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates is $46,294. This is a 46% increase over reported median household income in 2000 of $31,761.