Located on Philadelphia’s affluent Main Line is the beautiful unincorporated community of Merion. This is not to be confused with Lower Merion Township — although it is situated entirely within its boundaries — Merion is an actual community in Lower Merion Township in Montgomery County. Located at the beginning of the Main Line, Merion is entirely contiguous with Philadelphia on one side and adjacent to parts of Bala Cynwyd, Narberth and Wynnewood on the other. Because of its close proximity to Philadelphia, it is one of the best locations for those who commute to the city every day for work. Because of its closeness to the city, it is perhaps more developed, with more houses closer together than other Main Line communities farther out which are generally home to larger sprawling estates. However, Merion is still a beautiful place to live with excellent amenities and beautiful housing, including many timeless stone colonials.
Merion Civic Association
One thing Merion is known for is its strong civic association which was organized by Edward W. Bok in 1913 and was of course named the Merion Civic Association. Using the mottos “To be Nation right and State right, we must first be Community right.” This civic association made numerous improvements to Merion, including, better lighting, paving, planned tree planting, cast-iron street signs and better police and fire protection. So influential was the association that in 1917 President Theodore Roosevelt wrote an article entitled “Model Merion” for Bok’s magazine. After the conclusion of World War 1 the Merion Civic Association constructed a community center as a memorial for the 81 men of Merion involved in the conflict. Called the Tribute Center and built with special attention to detail, it is still used by the civic association to this day for meetings.
The Barnes Foundation
One place worth noting in Merion is the Barnes Foundation, which is a mansion used as an art display on Latches Lane. Also of note is St. Joseph’s University. While most of it is technically in Philadelphia along City Line Avenue, the divider between Philadelphia and Merion, the university does have some buildings that fall within Merion. In fact, the university built a pedestrian bridge over City Line Avenue to make it easier for people to get back and forth. St. Joseph’s also recently purchased Merion Gardens Apartments to create student housing, as the university increases its presence in Merion itself. Merion is also home to private schools and diverse places of worship.