Thursday, September 12, 2013

Map of Harrowgate (Greater Kensington) Philadelphia

Harrowgate Park lies in the very center of Harrowgate, an area named for the Harrowgate spa and Harrowgate Hotel that existed approximately from the 1780s to the 1840s.

The name Harrowgate was borrowed from the English spa town in England Harrogate, and the spelling somewhere along the timeline has a “w” added to the American spelling.

In colonial times, the main road from Philly to Trenton was the King’s Highway that over time and after the revolution dropped the royal inference.  At various times and at different spots on the map, the old King’s Highway becomes the road to the Town of Frankford and passed Frankford, the road to Bristol or Bristol Road.

The Harrowgate Spa and Hotel was accessible by a road from Frankford Road and was labeled Harrowgate Lane all the way up until the early twentieth century on Philadelphia city maps.

Harrowgate Lane went to the Hotel at the approximate location of the Present Kensington Avenue and E. Atlantic Street.  Harrowgate Lane used to run passed the future Kensington Avenue (not there in 18th century) to the land and Quaker home site of the Cedar Grove Mansion, moved to Fairmount Park in the 1920s with the intense industrialization of the area at the time.  

Cedar Grove had been a summer home to escape the heat of the city of Philadelphia, now downtown, from the late eighteenth century to the 1880’s when the railroad was built so close as to make the summer home a noisy and dirty place with the constant nearby railroad traffic.

So, the traditional historic Harrowgate centers around the present Harrowgate Park.  The Frankford Elevated stop is “Tioga” Street which meant something once upon a time because a railroad once was located on Tioga Street and went to the Delaware and I imagine it had more to do with freight than people traffic.  

In a way, the Frankford El stop should in present day be labeled “Harrowgate Park” or simply “Harrowgate”.

For boundaries, I have drawn a yellow line to include the area where Cedar Grove used to be at the western extension of E. Sedgley Street passed “K” Street on the top of the map.  This is traditional in area.  The yellow line goes to the Harrowgate Shopping Center once the Bellevue Cemetery in Harrowgate on the map in plates 13 and 8 of the 25th ward map 1886 link below.

I follow “H” Street down from the Harrowgate Shopping Center which leads to Allegheny at Kensington which I would not think a totally traditional Harrowgate area but to be quite frank, without a major road to define the boundaries, Harrowgate disappears off the map and people label the area variably as Kensington or Frankford etc.

I follow Allegheny down to a physical barrier, the railroad, the old Trenton Avenue above Sepviva Street and follow to another feeder railroad on Butler Street by the old Frankford Junction Station on Frankford Avenue.

So in drawing what is close to being what Harrowgate was is and should be, I am defining this from historic traditional and practical lines. 


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