East Falls is a neighborhood in the Northwest section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. East Falls is located adjacent to Roxborough, Manayunk, and Germantown, and Fairmount Park. The neighborhood runs along a stretch of Ridge Avenue that is only a few miles long, along the banks of the Schuylkill River then extends northeast to Wissahickon Avenue. East Falls overlooks the multi-use recreational path of Fairmount Park along Kelly Drive, and is desirable for its central location, an easy commute to Center City, with easy access to several major roadways and public transportation. East Falls continues to develop, with new housing, retail space and recreation centers in production. It features three streets in proximity with the word “Queen” in them (Queen Lane, New Queen Street, and Indian Queen Lane), two train stations, a number of bars and restaurants, a small Korean grocer, illustrious mansions as well as some recently renovated housing that continues to increase in value.
East Falls is best known as the childhood home of Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco, who grew up in a house at 3901 Henry Avenue. In addition, former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, Jewish studies scholar Chaim Potok, Pennsylvania Governor and former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell have homes in East Falls. Ravenhill Academy, a Catholic girls school run by the Mothers of the Assumption from the Philippines, was attended by Grace Kelly and the former President of the Philippines Corazon Aquino. It was closed in 1977 and now is part of the Philadelphia University campus. It is a common misconception that Frank Sinatra exchanged nuptials with his second wife, Ava Gardner, in another campus building, a house on the corner of School House Lane and Henry Avenue. Before the founding of Washington, D.C., East Falls was seriously considered as the site for the permanent federal capital.
East Falls was the site of the world-famous Schuylkill Falls Public Housing Project by the International Modern architect Oscar Stonorov. Constructed in 1953, Schuylkill Falls was one of the most admired and studied high-rise public housing designs in the US. Despite its status as a National Historic Landmark, the building stood vacant for many years and was finally demolished in 1996.