Bryn Mawr, PA: Life on The Main Line
History and Culture
Another affluent town located on Philadelphia’s Main Line, Bryn Mawr is a place where a delicate dance of history and modern amenities bring beauty to day-to-day living. The region that now encompasses Bryn Mawr was once comprised of pristine farmlands and stunning natural landscapes. In 1683, a Welsh Quaker named Rowland Ellis purchased 800 acres of land from William Penn, built a massive stone mansion on it and named it after his farm back in England: Bryn Mawr. Over the next 200 years, tracts of the original 800-acre plot were sold off, and the landscape continued to change. The town changed names several times during that period, with some of the most popular being Humphreysville and Crankyville. As the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased the railway running from Philadelphia to Lancaster in the mid-1800s, this mid-Main Line treasure was returned to its original name and began the transformation into the town that is so beloved today.
Remnants of Bryn Mawr’s fascinating past can be seen throughout the community, which is split between two counties – Delaware and Montgomery – and three townships – Lower Merion, Haverford and Radnor. The town shares its 19010 zip code with nearby Rosemont. In Northern Bryn Mawr (Lower Merion), there are sprawling mansions and gorgeous colonial residences constructed out of local stone that date back to the 1800s. Elsewhere throughout the town, there are historic homes that have been converted to museums and educational facilities; stunning churches built with old-world craftsmanship; the town’s original train station; a recently renovated library; Rowland Ellis’ original homestead and many other gems from yesteryear. In fact, the “Bryn Mawr 100” features nearly 25 establishments that have been in operation for over 100 years.
But deep roots in the Main Line region is not the only thing that attracts newcomers to Bryn Mawr; instead, it is that this established town exudes luxury at every turn. The town encompasses a vibrant commercial center with small specialty shops, restaurants and fitness centers. Pennsylvania’s premier Ferrari dealer is located in Bryn Mawr, as are a number of locally-owned boutiques and businesses. Bryn Mawr’s commercial district is located along Lancaster Avenue, and perhaps the most popular of the region’s commercial offerings are found at Bryn Mawr Village. Here, visitors can grab a cup of freshly roasted coffee at La Colombe, shop for apparel in stores like Athleta or grab a massage at Bryn Mawr Massage. Also in the commercial district is the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, an independent, community-supported movie theater, and a delectable array of eateries that range from Italian and Meditteranean to high-class New American establishments. One of the crowning jewels of Route 30 is Bryn Mawr’s 100-year-old library, the Ludington Library, which was fully renovated in 2012.
Historical Homes & Eclectic Architecture
Moving out of the commercial part of town, Bryn Mawr presents an abundance of real estate choices. Northern Bryn Mawr is the most distinguished of the three, with its eclectic mix of sprawling, historic estates, beautiful new construction homes, spacious mid-century ranches, French-style attached homes, condominiums and student housing. Excluding the attached properties, most of the homes are situated on generous lots and are surrounded by mature trees. In the Haverford Township portion of Southside Bryn Mawr, the homes and neighborhoods exude charm that is hard to replicate. Two-story colonials, quaint bungalows and beautifully updated ranch-style properties are just some of the possibilities presented to buyers. In the Radnor Township part of the Southside, real estate again takes a move luxurious turn. Here, the homes are mostly built in the 20th century and are set in well-established neighborhoods. The residences are sizable, with spacious lots and upgraded offerings. There is also an impressive selection of mansions throughout Radnor Township Bryn Mawr. All this being said, million-dollar-plus properties are abundant throughout Bryn Mawr as a whole, and the market is brimming with stunning luxury properties.
Local Events & Lifestyle
On par with the real estate offerings in town is the educational system. Like all other Main Line locales, Bryn Mawr is blessed with a fantastic public school system that fosters a love of learning and prepares students for college. Residents who prefer private school are presented with several options, including the Baldwin School, a prestigious all-girls school that dates back to 1888; the Hilltop Academy, a prep school that caters to students with learning disabilities; the Shipley School, which caters to boys and girls alike; and several religious offerings, including Holy Child School at Rosemont, Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy and Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr. College students do not have to go too far from home, either, with Bryn Mawr College, a women’s liberal arts college, as well as Swarthmore College and Haverford College all in town.
The residents of this area are captains of industry – from doctors and lawyers to architects and professors with skills and resources to preserve and expand Bryn Mawr’s quality of life. As such, the community is thriving with successful hospitals, including the well-established Bryn Mawr Hospital and Nemours duPont Pediatrics; stunning parks, including Ashbridge Memorial Park with its beautiful walking trails and Clem Macrone Park that hosts Bryn Mawr’s annual Garrett Hill 4th of July Parade and Picnic Celebration; a vibrant art community that is fostered through art galleries and events, such as First Friday Main Line; and incredible opportunity. Bryn Mawr’s assorted atmosphere caters to all walks of life and makes this central-Main Line destination a wonderful place to call home.