Mount Airy is a neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania. In 2011, the New York Times described the influx of new businesses to Mount Airy as a “cultural revival” buoyed by “the neighborhood’s reasonable housing costs and relatively safe streets.” In 2013, CNNMoney named Mount Airy one of America’s top ten best big-city neighborhoods.
Much of modern Mount Airy was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spreading out from Germantown Avenue and two railroad lines. Large three-story, gray-stone Victorian, colonial revival, and Norman and Cotswold-style houses and mansions, with stained glass windows and slate roofs, are situated on many of the area’s tree-lined streets. They dominated districts like West Mount Airy’s Pelham section (a Wendell and Smith development from the 1890s), East Mount Airy’s Gowen Avenue (the James Gowen Estate development from the 1880s), Sedgwick Farms (an Ashton S. Tourison development from 1905), and Stenton (a Frank Mauran development from 1905) areas.
Mount Airy’s main commercial district lies along cobblestoned Germantown Avenue, which also serves as the boundary between East and West Mount Airy. The neighborhood has a variety of independent shops, restaurants, art galleries, clothing stores, coffee shops, a gastropub, wine bar, fitness centers, and professional offices. Mt. Airy also has two tented farmers’ markets. There are also chain stores such as an Acme Supermarket and a Wawa. The Sedgwick Theater, notable for its art deco style, has been a cultural center in the past, and now houses the Quintessence Theatre Group.