Chestnut Hill is a neighborhood in the Northwest Philadelphia section of the United States city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The village of Chestnut Hill was part of the German Township laid out by Francis Daniel Pastorius and came to include the settlements originally known as Sommerhausen and Crefeld, as well as part of Cresheim. It served as a gateway between Philadelphia and the nearby farmlands. During the American Revolutionary War era (late 18th century), the area was one of many summer vacation spots due to its higher elevation, 400–500 feet (120 to 150 m) above sea level, and cooler temperatures than the historic Center City. Chestnut Hill is still stereotypically known as one of the more affluent sections of Philadelphia. However, there are many residents who fall within lower/middle class incomes.
From the mid-19th century through the mid-20th, the neighborhood served as both a “railroad suburb” and a “streetcar suburb” of Center City; although it was part of Philadelphia, it was a leafy outlying part functioning as a bedroom community. (It still serves this function, although the streetcars are gone.) The neighborhood contains a wide variety of 19th and early 20th century residential buildings by many of the most prominent Philadelphia architects.
Chestnut Hill is home to several private schools. Perhaps the best-known are the K-12 Chestnut Hill Academy (boys) and Springside School (girls), since 2010 merged as the semi-coeducational Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. The other three private schools in Chestnut Hill are The Crefeld School (7-12), and the K-8 Norwood-Fontbonne Academy and Our Mother of Consolation. Many “Chestnut Hillers” also send their children to private schools in nearby neighborhoods such as William Penn Charter School, Germantown Friends School, Germantown Academy, Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School, Abington Friends School, LaSalle College High School, Mount Saint Joseph Academy. and The Center School (Abington, Pennsylvania).