Blocks We Love: 3400 Block Of West Penn Street
Tucked into a corner of East Falls, tree-lined West Penn Street looks like a portrait of historical England: dense gardens, slate roofs, leaded windows. The nearly six dozen rowhomes on West Penn Street, designed and built in the late 1920s, remain little changed since their original construction. Recently added to Philadelphia’s Register of Historic Places, West Penn Street feels like a small village in the Cotswolds, just five miles away from Center City.
Tudor architecture, like that seen on West Penn Street, was very popular in Northwest Philadelphia during the turn of the century, and can be seen throughout the surrounding suburban-style neighborhoods: Germantown, Mt. Airy & Chestnut Hill. Henry McNeil, the architect responsible for the houses of West Penn Street, developed homes that charmingly echo the grand Tudor style while fitting into the denser, more urban East Falls neighborhood. The end result is a truly beautiful, sylvan city block.
The rowhouses on West Penn Street retain a sense of uniformity, while still appearing unique. Through clever shifts in form and detail, each house subtly distinguishes itself from it’s neighbor. Slight variations in facade materials, window and door ornamentation, roof pitching, and garden layout create a very intimate block. Each house includes a deep setback from the street, which many owners have transformed into small, beautiful gardens and patios. The historical quality of the street, combined with it’s resident’s thoughtful maintenance, make the 3400 block of West Penn Street a Block We Love!