Neighborhood Profile: GIRARD ESTATE

History:  Girard Estate is named after Stephen Girard, whose South Philadelphia property was developed in the 1920s by the City of Philadelphia. 

Girard’s country home was on a plot of land he named Gentilhommiere in what was formerly called Passyunk Township of Philadelphia County. He was likely the richest man in the United States when he died in 1831, and he left most of his $6 million estate to the City of Philadelphia.

Girard’s will stated that Gentilhommiere must not be sold. To meet the second stipulation, the Board of City Trusts, trustee of the Girard Estate, developed 481 rental homes which became the Girard Estate homes.

Most of the semi-detached homes were designed by architects John and James Windrim, and were built from 1906 to 1916. The architectural styles included Bungalow, Prairie, Mission, Jacobean Revival and Colonial Revival. They are a marked difference from the typical South Philly row homes. In 1950, the city received permission to sell all 481 homes to private owners. All the homes were sold within two years.

In 1979, Girard Estate became a location for “Rocky II.” The crew filmed scenes on the 2300 block of S. Lambert Street for a week.

Today, Girard Estate is a mostly Italian American neighborhood, with a smaller Irish population. (Wikipedia)

Boundaries: Its boundaries stretch from South 22nd Street on the west to South 17th Street on the east. The southern boundary is clearly defined as the south side of Shunk Street but its northern boundary is irregular in stretching from the north side of Porter Street between South 17th Street and South 21st Street, along east side of South 21st Street to West Passyunk Avenue, then along the south side of West Passyunk Avenue to its northwestern tip at South 22nd Street.

Zip Codes:  19145.

What to See / Do: Stephen Girard Park, Vendemmia Festival, Girard Estate Historic District.

More Information: Girard Estate Neighborhood Association.

Schools: Girard Academic Music Program, Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School, Stephen Girard Elementary School, St. Monica School.

Public Transportation: SEPTA’s Bus Route 7, Broad Street Line.