Ardmore is a census-designated place (CDP) in Delaware and Montgomery counties in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The community of Ardmore is a suburb on the west side of Philadelphia, within Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County; and Haverford Township in Delaware County. Originally named Athensville in 1853, the community and its railroad station were renamed Ardmore in 1873 by the Pennsylvania Railroad, on whose “Main Line”, west out of Philadelphia, Ardmore sits at Milepost 8.5.
Ardmore’s train station is served by SEPTA Regional Rail’s Paoli/Thorndale Line (commuter) and Amtrak (intercity) passenger trains. Residents and visitors enjoy several recreation areas, including South Ardmore Park, which is located in neighboring Wynnewood, though many mistake it for Ardmore. Suburban Square, opened in 1928 as one of the earliest shopping centers in the United States, is located adjacent to the Ardmore train station. Ardmore contains the nation’s first suburban branch of a major department store, the former Strawbridge and Clothier which opened there in 1930; the former Suburban movie theater—now American Eagle Outfitters; the newly relocated Ardmore Farmer’s Market; an Apple Store, and the usual selection of mall shops. Other landmarks within the Ardmore Progressive Civic Association borders include the Ardmore Post Office and Ardmore Public Library on South Ardmore Avenue; the Ardmore Ice Skating Club on Greenfield Avenue; a public swimming pool; lighted tennis/basketball courts; the community center known as “The Shack”; and two senior housing projects.
Pupils living in the Lower Merion Township portion attend schools in the Lower Merion School District, while pupils living in the Haverford Township portion attend schools in the School District of Haverford Township. Among the many notable graduates of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore are General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold (1903), Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Forces in WWII; General Alexander M. Haig, Jr. (1942), the 59th United States Secretary of State; James H. Billington (1946), the Librarian of Congress, and; Kobe Bryant (1996), an all star NBA basketball player.