Bala Cynwyd

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Bala Cynwd is a community in Lower Merion Township which is located on the Main Line in southeastern Pennsylvania, bordering the western edge of Philadelphia at US Route 1 (City Avenue). It was originally two separate towns, Bala and Cynwyd, but is commonly treated as a single community. This came about when a single US Post Office served both towns (the "Bala Cynwyd" Branch). Bala and Cynwyd are still served by separate stations on SEPTA's Cynwyd Line of Regional Rail.

Bala Cynwyd lies in the Welsh Tract of Pennsylvania and was settled in the 1680s by Welsh Quakers, who named it after the town of Bala and the village of Cynwyd in Wales. The American "Cynwyd" is now pronounced "KIN-wid.  A mixed residential community made up predominantly of single-family detached homes, it extends west of the Philadelphia city limits represented by City Line Avenue from Old Lancaster Road at 54th Street west to Meeting House Lane and then along Manayunk and Conshohocken State Roads north to Mary Watersford Road, then east along Belmont Avenue back to City Line. This large residential district contains some of Lower Merion's oldest and finest stone mansions, built mainly from 1880 through the 1920s and located in the sycamore-lined district between Montgomery Avenue and Levering Mill Road, as well as split level tract houses built east of Manayunk Road just after World War II.

The oldest commercial district and the original center of Bala Cynwyd straddles the bridge over the old Pennsylvania Railroad tracks, originally belonging to the Columbia Railroad and now part of the SEPTA Cynwyd Line, along Montgomery Avenue at Bala Avenue. This district, long on the National Register of Historic Places, was settled shortly after William Penn's landing in Pennsylvania in 1682 and contains the village's oldest commercial buildings, some dating to the earliest years of the nineteenth century.  Bala Avenue itself is an extension of this original town center and comprises a specialized commercial district of its own more than a century old; it has long been known for its children's clothing stores, women's dress and consignment shops, the Bala Theater and a number of small restaurants. The remainder of Bala Cynwyd's original commercial district extends south along Montgomery Avenue as part of the Bala Cynwyd-Merion Commercial District and is coextensive with the commercial center of Merion, with its popular delicatessens and restaurants.

Since the old WCAU Channel 10 built its headquarters at the corner of City Avenue and Monument Road in 1952, Bala Cynwyd has increasingly become identified with the home of the Philadelphia region's major media outlets. In addition to the channel 3 successors to WCAU, rival WPVI-TV is found directly across City Avenue. Bala Cynwyd's AM and FM stations include CBS Radio's WOGL-FM, WIP-AM and WPHT-AM, located on the seventh floor of Two Bala Plaza and Greater Media's WBEN-FM, WNUW, WMGK-FM, WMMR-FM and WPEN, which are housed on the third and fourth floor of One Bala Plaza. Clear Channel Radio's WDAS-FM, WUBA, WUSL, WRFF, WISX, and WIOQ FM stations are located on Presidential Boulevard, as is independently owned WBEB. Beasley Broadcasting's WXTU, WRDW-FM and WWDB are on the third floor of 555 Presidential Boulevard at the foot of City Avenue. It is the corporate home of Entercom and the Susquehanna International Group.

The Bala Cynwyd Shopping Center, completed in 1957, lies a half mile to the south of the village center, bordering Philadelphia on City Avenue. Its major outlets are Lord & Taylor, Acme Markets, Olive Garden, and LA Fitness; Saks Fifth Avenue is located a block to the East.

The village is home to churches of many religions. The oldest of these is Saint John's Episcopal Church on Levering Mill Road, founded in 1863. Saint Matthias Catholic Church is also found one block south of Montgomery on Bryn Mawr Avenue. Bala Cynwyd has also drawn a number of Modern Orthodox and Conservative Jews who live within walking distance of Lower Merion Synagogue and Congregation Adath Israel on Old Lancaster Road where Bala Cynwyd meets Merion. Churches of other denominations are only blocks away in nearby Narberth, Wynnewood, Merion, and Wynnefield/Overbrook.


BALA-CYNWYD MIDDLE SCHOOL
510 BRYN MAWR AVE
BALA CYNWYD, PA 19004
GRADES: 6-8

BELMONT HILLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
200 SCHOOL STREET
BALA CYNWYD, PA 19004
GRADES: KG-5

CYNWYD SCHOOL
101 W LEVERING MILL RD
BALA CYNWYD, PA 19004
GRADES: KG-5

BALA CYNWYD SCHOOL FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
11 SAINT ASAPHS RD
BALA CYNWYD, PA 19004
GRADES: PK-KG

FRENCH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF PHILADELPHIA
150 N HIGHLAND AVE
BALA CYNWYD, PA 19004
GRADES: PK-8

MAIN LINE ACADEMY
124 BRYN MAWR AVE
BALA CYNWYD, PA 19004

THE BALA HOUSE MONTESSORI SCHOOL
27 CONSHOCKEN STATE RD
BALA CYNWYD, PA 19004
GRADES: PK-KG