Spruce Hill, Philadelphia

Coordinates: 39°57′14″N 75°12′36″W / 39.954°N 75.210°W / 39.954; -75.210
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Spruce Hill
Dickens Statue in Clark Park in Spruce Hill
Dickens Statue in Clark Park in Spruce Hill
Spruce Hill is located in Philadelphia
Spruce Hill
Spruce Hill
Coordinates: 39°57′14″N 75°12′36″W / 39.954°N 75.210°W / 39.954; -75.210
Country United States
Area code(s)215, 267 and 445

Spruce Hill is a neighborhood in the University City section of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is situated between 40th and 46th streets and stretches from Market Street south to Woodland Avenue.

History and demographics[edit]

With a population of more than 16,000, Spruce Hill is a racially and ethnically diverse part of the city, where multiple examples of historic architecture are preserved, including a large number of Victorian rowhouses, many of which have been converted to multi-family apartments.[1]

This neighborhood was built as a streetcar suburb for Center City between 1850 and 1910.[2] Among its most prominent developers was financier Clarence Howard Clark Sr. (1833 – 1906), who built dozens of rowhouses, donated land for the Walnut Street West Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, settled a tax assessment by founding the 9.1-acre Clark Park, and established his mansion on the grassy block that today holds the Penn Alexander public elementary school.[3]

A statue of Charles Dickens, cast in 1890 by Francis Edwin Elwell, stands in Clark Park; it is one of just two known statues of the author.[4]


The School District of Philadelphia operates the Penn Alexander School and the Paul Robeson High School for Human Services. The Spruce Hill Christian elementary and middle school is located on Baltimore Avenue.

The University of Pennsylvania campus extends into Spruce Hill and the University of the Sciences campus is also located in this neighborhood.

Public libraries[edit]

The Free Library of Philadelphia Walnut Street West Branch serves Spruce Hill.[5]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Blumgart, Jake (December 28, 2017). "Spruce Hill zoning remapping is backdoor historic preservation". WHYY. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  2. ^ West Philadelphia Streetcar Suburb Historic District, UCHS Archived 2007-06-04 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Peniston, Bradley (January 16, 2014). "What's In A Name: Clark Park". Hidden City Daily. Hidden City Philadelphia. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  4. ^ Malkin, Bonnie (14 March 2011). "Rare Charles Dickens statue restored to Sydney park after 40 years missing". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-03-14.
  5. ^ "Walnut Street West Branch." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on October 19, 2012.

External links[edit]