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Radnor is a vibrant, thriving town, with strong community life and support. Radnor is rich with history. This region once served as the home of Lenni Lenape Indians and was settled, in 1663, by 40 Quakers from Radnorshire, Wales. Commercial life in Radnor began to thrive when the Welsh immigrants opened gristmills, sawmills, and tanneries in addition to the farmland they had already cleared and tilled. The town began to grow as it came to serve as a stop along the Conestoga Road, which connected Philadelphia and Lancaster.
With the advent of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1832, Radnor became more accessible to the city, and the town began to acquire more residential neighborhoods. New hotels and settlements formed along the railroad, and the community began to flourish. The neighboring town of Wayne arose as one of the country’s first suburban developments, served by electricity as well as heating, water and sewer systems. This development added 3,800 residents to the Radnor Township, also increasing the number of inhabitants in the town of Radnor.
Grand, luxurious estates developed as wealthy industrialists from Philadelphia turned farms into the sprawling country mansions the Main Line is so well known for. However, because of the financial difficulties caused by the first two world wars, all but a few grand estates were subdivided into housing developments. Androssan Farm is one of the largest estates still standing today. Some of these estates were converted into commercial centers, schools, colleges, country clubs and religious institutions, and stand as emblems of Radnor’s rich historical heritage.
Radnor is best characterized today by its ethnic, cultural and economic diversity. It has one of the best school public systems, which has been rated the finest in the nation. Furthermore, Radnor’s local government has strived and succeeded in providing the town with a high level of service, making it a wonderful residence for anyone. Numerous lush parks, playgrounds and athletic fields delight adults and children alike. These parks and facilities offer residents and visitors many services, including playing fields, nature areas, picnic areas, fishing creeks and ponds, jogging tracks, hiking and fitness trails, as well as the swimming amenities at the Radnor High School pool.
In the 1960’s, Radnor experienced a growth spurt that is still continuing today, and can be seen the heightened number of residences, offices and commercial establishments, as well as the increase in the size of its institutions. However, to avoid overcrowding, the growth office of Radnor Township has set a plan that preserves the high residential quality of the community while still providing a variety of residential densities. New construction is kept at a minimum, consisting of only about 33 buildings last year. This significantly small number can be attributed to the strong efforts of community leaders to manage and conserve open space. In this way, the upkeep of neighborhoods and communities is a strong priority in Radnor, adding to its desirable residential qualities. Moreover, the preservation of trees and landscape along significant streets makes Radnor one of the most picturesque towns of the Main Line.
Despite the reduction in new construction, Radnor is still growing and developing. For the past few years, investments have been poured into the town, as well as Radnor Township, with the addition of structures and accessories to existing buildings. Radnor is a perfect blend of sophisticated shops and businesses with small town living, and offers prospective residents the conveniences of city life in the beautiful setting of Philadelphia’s suburbs.