Borough of Phoenixville
Phoenixville, looking across the Phoenix Iron Works site and French Creek.
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Chester
Elevation 138 ft (42.1 m)
Coordinates 40°07′51″N 75°31′09″W / 40.13083, -75.51917
Area 3.8 sq mi (9.8 km²)
 - land 3.6 sq mi (9 km²)
 - water 0.2 sq mi (1 km²), 5.26%
Population 16,440 (2010)
Density 4,566.6 / sq mi (1,763.2 / km²)
Incorporated March 6, 1849 [1]
Mayor Leo Scoda
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code 19460
Area code 610, 484, 835
Location of Phoenixville in Pennsylvania
Locator Red.svg
Location of Phoenixville in Pennsylvania

Location of Pennsylvania in the United States
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States


Phoenixville is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Philadelphia, at the junction of French Creek with the Schuylkill River. The population is 16,440 as of the 2010 Census.[2]


File:Phoenixville Mural.jpg

Phoenixville Mural

Originally called Manavon, Phoenixville was settled in 1732 and incorporated as a borough in 1849. In its industrial heyday early in the twentieth century, it was an important manufacturing center and it was the site of great iron and steel mills such as the Phoenix Iron Works, boiler works, silk mill, underwear and hosiery factories, a match factory, and the famous (and now highly collectible) Etruscan majolica pottery. Like so many American towns and cities, Phoenixville owes its growth to its waterways. It is not only situated on the broad Schuylkill River, an historic thoroughfare to Native Americans and early settlers alike, but it is bisected by the fast-flowing French Creek, which was quickly harnessed for water power.

File:Phoenixville Hospital.jpg

Phoenixville Hospital

Much of this history was recognized by the creation of the Phoenixville Historic District, the largest National Register of Historic Places site in Chester County.


The first nail factory in the U.S., the French Creek Nail Works, was established in Phoenixville (then called Manavon) in 1790. In 1813, a bridge builder, Lewis Wernwag, became part owner and renamed it the Phoenix Iron Works. In 1840, new owners added a blast furnace. In 1855 a new group of owners incorporated as the Phoenix Iron Co.

When the borough was incorporated in 1849, it incorporated the name of its major employer.

After several ownership changes, the plant was completely shut down in 1949 and later acquired by the Barium Steel Corp. and renamed the Phoenix Iron & Steel Company, later The Phoenix Steel Corporation. The entire plant was shut down for the last time in 1987.[3]


Downtown Phoenixville at Bridge & Main streets

In March 2010, Philadelphia Magazine listed Phoenixville as one of "10 Awesome Neighborhoods To Call Home".[4]

Phoenixville is home to the Colonial Theatre, opened in 1903. In 1958, the theatre, along with some other parts of the borough, was featured in the motion picture The Blob. Beginning in 2000, Phoenixville has celebrated this with the annual Blobfest.[5] Festivities include a reenactment of the scene featuring the Colonial. The Colonial runs special programs some weekends in July, and an ongoing series of movies and events for children.

File:Colonial Theater.jpg

The Colonial Theater

Since 2004 on the first Friday night of every month the downtown stores, restaurants and businesses and volunteer community groups hold special events including street musicians and entertainers and some outdoor concerts.[6]

Phoenixville is in close proximity to Valley Forge park and both the Perkiomen and Schulykill River trails.


File:Phoenix Iron Works Foundry Building.jpg

Phoenix Iron Works foundry building.

Phoenixville has a diverse local economy that largely includes many local artisans and restaurants. Local hotspots include an Iron Hill Brewery and Molly Macguire's Pub, both located on Bridge Street.[7] Customers Bank, the nation's fourth best earnings performing community bank, according to the American Bankers Association, is headquartered in downtown Phoenixville.[8]

From 2002 to 2010, assessed property values in Phoenixville Borough grew by over 20 percent.[9]

Geography and Climate[]

Phoenixville is located at 40°7′51″N 75°31′9″W / 40.13083, -75.51917 (40.130819, -75.519061).[10]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.7 km²), of which, 3.6 square miles (9.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (4.27%) is water. Phoenixville was home to Showalter's Dairy until it closed in the early 1980s. Phoenixville is home of the highest recorded temperature in Pennsylvania, 111 degrees Fahrenheit, set in 1936.

Average annual rainfall: 30" Average snowfall: 13" Average temperature in winter: 34° Average temperature in summer: 73° [11]

Adjacent Municipalities[]

East Pikeland Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania-West

Schuylkill Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania-South and East

Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania-North


Phoenixville is at the intersection of three state routes: 23, 29, and 113. Phoenixville is currently served by SEPTA's Route 99 bus, which connects with the Manayunk/Norristown Line Regional rail service at the Norristown Transportation Center, the Route 205 bus, which connects with the Paoli station during weekday rush hours, and the Route 139 bus, which connects the King of Prussia Mall with the Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick.

File:Septa bus.jpg


Several major railroads once served Phoenixville. The Reading Railroad entered the east side of town via a station above Bridge Street. The line passes under the north side of town in the Black Rock Tunnel, the second rail tunnel constructed in the United States. Regular commuter trains last stopped at the Phoenixville Station in 1981, when SEPTA ceased operating non-electrified commuter lines. Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) currently utilizes the busy line on a daily basis as part of its Harrisburg Line.

The Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) Schuylkill Branch also served Phoenixville. The line enters town crossing the Schuylkill River from neighboring Mont Clare on a high bridge, north of French Creek. The line passes along the north side of the former Phoenix Iron Works site. The station on Vanderslice Street, west of Gay Street, no longer exists. Past the Works, the line splits. The main fork passed through the now abandoned Phoenixville Tunnel, which partially collapsed in the 1990s, and continued toward Reading. The other fork continued along the Pickering Creek Valley and used to connect with the Main Line at Paoli. A section of the line remains in place, and is currently known as the Phoenixville Industrial track (also owned by NS). Passenger service ended in 1928 and regular freight service on the line ceased in 2004. During the 2008 replacement of the Gay Street Bridge, the line was severed at its crossing of Main Street and that rail bridge raised a few feet to allow emergency vehicles to reach the north side of town.

Interest to resume passenger rail service was spurred by the Schuylkill Valley Metro (SVM) project, which was rejected by Federal Transit Administration in 2006. Another project, called the Greenline, has since been proposed an alternative to the SVM. It would utilize the Phoenixville Industrial track, to give Phoenixville a rail link to Philadelphia via Paoli and the Paoli/Thorndale Line of regional rail. The effort to resume passenger train service has led to the creation of the group Citizens for the Train.


The borough of Phoenixville is governed by a mayor and by eight council members, two for each of four wards: Middle, East, North, and West. Each ward is further divided into three numbered election precincts. The precincts do not have government representatives.

Phoenixville is in Pennsylvania's 6th federal Congressional District, the 157th State House of Representatives District, and the 19th State Senatorial District.


File:HIgh School.jpg

Phoenixville High School

File:Phoenixville public library.jpg

Phoenixville Public Library

Public School[]

Phoenixville is served by the Phoenixville Area School District, which has three elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. The School District also serves the surrounding municipalities of East Pikeland and Schuylkill Townships.

Private Schools[]

Holy Family School

Charlestown Playhouse

Charter Schools[]

Phoenixville Rennaissance Academy

Public Library[]

Phoenixville Public Library


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1930 12,029
1940 12,282 2.1%
1950 12,932 5.3%
1960 13,797 6.7%
1970 14,823 7.4%
1980 14,165 −4.4%
1990 15,066 6.4%
2000 14,788 −1.8%
2010 16,440 11.2%</ref>

As of the census of 2010, there were 16,440 people, 7,590 households.[2] . There were 6,793 housing units at an average density of 1,892.6/sq mi (730.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 81.7% White, 8.9% African American, 0.5% American Indian, 3.3% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 4.1% from other races, and Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population.

In the Borough the population was 6.3% under the age of 5, 79.9% (12,822) from 18 years and olders, 11.6% (1,870) from 65 and older, The median age was 37.90 years, 52.6% (8,448) are females, and 47.4% (7,606) are males.

The median income for a household in the Borough was $56,704, and the median income for a family was $71,005.[12]


File:Saint Ann's Church of Phoenixville.jpg

Saint Ann's Church of Phoenixville

Phoenixville is home to 34 designated places of worship of several different religions.[13]

58.4% of residents are Catholic 7.3% are of the United Methodist Church, 6.7% are Presbyterians, 4.5% are of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 3.4% are of the Episcopal Church, 2.7% are Baptists, 2.4% are Muslims, 1.9% are of the United Church of Christ, 1.2% are Quakers, and 11.5% are classified as other.[14]

Notable people[]

  • Terry Gilkyson, Disney composer
  • Creighton Gubanich, former Major League Baseball player with the Boston Red Sox
  • Rich Kraynak, former linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles
  • John-Paul Lavoisier, soap opera actor on "One Life to Live"
  • Harry A. Longabaugh, Old West outlaw
  • Neal Olkewicz, former American Football linebacker
  • Mike Piazza, former catcher and designated hitter in Major League Baseball
  • John Smiley, former MLB pitcher
  • André Thornton, former Major League Baseball player
  • David White, actor
  • William George Wilson, award-winning sports cinematographer


  1. ^ Pennypacker, Samuel Whitaker (1872). Annals of Phoenixville and Its Vicinity: From the Settlement to the Year 1871. Phoenixville, PA: Bavis & Pennypacker, printers. pp. 148. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ "Phoenix Steel Corporation Records, 1827-1963 (bulk 1856-1949)". Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  4. ^ McCutcheon, Lauren and Christine Speer. March 2010, Philadelphia Magazine, "10 Awesome Neighborhoods To Call Home". Accessed 19 July 2011.
  5. ^ BlobFest/
  6. ^ "Phoenixville First Friday". Phoenixville. Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ The Phoenix
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Phoenixville Demographics". The Borough of Phoenixville. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Religion in Phoenixville". The Borough of Phoenixville. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Percentage of religion in Phoenixville". Advameg Inc.. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.