Local Analysis – Rose Valley Borough

Local Analysis – Rose Valley Borough

According to Wikipedia, “Rose Valley is located in central Delaware County, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of Media, the county seat, and 4 miles (6 km) north of Chester. It is bordered by Nether Providence Township to the north, east, and south, and by Middletown Township to the west. Ridley Creek, a south-flowing tributary of the Delaware River, forms the western boundary of the borough. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the borough of Rose Valley has an area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), all of it land.[1]

According to the historic section on the Borough’s website, “Rose Valley was included in land grants by William Penn in 1681 to three  Vernon brothers – Thomas, Robert and Randal – while they were still in England.  They all arrived here the following year. Robert’s grant was confirmed by patent  in 1684, Thomas’s in 1702 and Randal’s in 1711. The era that makes Rose Valley unique among the Philadelphia suburbs is that  of the Arts and Crafts movement. Generally defined as the English revival of  decorative arts, it was one aspect of a many-sided reaction against the  Industrial Revolution and the diminished role of the craftsman in the production  of goods. The principal leader of the reaction was William Morris whose ideas  crossed the Atlantic and made their appeal to those interested in social and  philosophical concepts. One of those interested was William Lightfoot Price, a  successful Philadelphia architect and a man in love with people and ideas. In 1901, Will Price bought eighty acres in the name of the Rose Valley Association from the bankrupt estate of Antrim Osborne. With the financial backing of a group of wealthy liberal Philadelphians interested in social reform, Price set about creating the Arts and Crafts movement’s vision of ‘the art that is life.’

From the beginning, the Association was plagued by financial problems, and it must be said that although many beautiful items were crafted here in those early years, the commercial aspect of the Arts and Crafts experiment was not a success. In the first five years, only three shops had been established, and of these, only the furniture shop had any real organization. By the end of the decade, the Rose Valley Association had been forced to sell most of its assets to pay its debts. Today, the memories of the Arts and Crafts movement abound in the Borough. Many descendants of the original artists and artisans still live here, and the distinctive architectural style of William Price can be seen in many of the homes.  In 1923, in order to control their own destiny as a local community, the 250  residents of Rose Valley petitioned the Court of Quarter Sessions to establish a  Borough. The petition was approved on December 23, 1923. It created a separate  municipality of 410 acres of which 363 had been in Nether Providence and 47  across the creek in Middletown Township.  On July 19, 2010, the U. S. Department of the Interior placed a large portion of the Borough on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Rose Valley Historic District consists of 123 resources (105 buildings, 7 sites, 10 structures and 1 object (the Minquas Path Historic Marker on Rose Valley Road).[2]  It should be noted that the subject property is included in the inventory of historic buildings included in the Rose Valley Historic District.

Today, Rose Valley Borough is considered one of the most livable communities in Delaware County.  It is conveniently located between Center City Philadelphia and Wilmington Delaware with easy access to I-95 and Route 476 (the Blue Route).  It is serviced by the SEPTA Rose Valley-Moylan and Wallingford Train stations and the SEPTA Route 101 trolley with stops in nearby media. Neighboring Media Borough, the Delaware County seat, offers a charming ambiance with brick sidewalks, tree shaded streets, and a trolley running down the main street. Shopping, dining, parks and entertainment abound in this town which welcomes new residents with its friendly atmosphere and motto ‘Everybody’s Hometown’.  In addition, there are numerous, close by outdoor attractions including Tyler Arboretum and Ridley Creek State Park.

Students in Rose Valley Borough are served by the prestigious Wallingford-Swarthmore School District.  According to the 2016 high school rankings by US News and World Report, the Strath Haven High School (Wallingford-Swarthmore School District) is ranked 7th in the state of Pennsylvania and 514th in the nation.

According to the American Community Survey Demographic Profile from the 2010 US Census, the total population of Rose Valley Borough was 913 with 372 total housing units. This is a slight decrease from the 2000 census population count of 944 with 351 housing units.  Median household income per the 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates, was $176,406 (one of the highest median family incomes for a municipality in the state of Pennsylvania). This is a dramatic 54% increase over reported median household income in 2000 of $114,373.

In conclusion, Rose Valley Borough is a very livable community in Delaware County Pennsylvania, with a very high median family income, good transportation access to the entire Delaware Valley, close by to cultural, shopping, recreation and dining opportunities and within a highly ranked school district.