Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Lincoln Drive

Map of Existing and Proposed Main Traffic Highways, 1915

A 1915 map of Northwest Philadelphia, with the Chestnut Hill neighborhood in the left center. The Lincoln Drive, with its proposed expansions, cuts through the center of the neighborhood from right to left.

A 1915 map shows a proposed extension of the Lincoln Drive through Pastorius Park and the Chestnut Hill neighborhood. Due to the Great Depression and neighborhood resistance, the extension never occurred. (PhillyHistory.org)


At the beginning of the twentieth century, the city of Philadelphia sought to extend the northern part of Lincoln Drive so that it would connect to the Bethlehem Pike. Although initially approved, this expansion was never completed. First, the Great Depression and World War II deprived the projects of funding. Second, increasing automobile traffic on the drive prompted resistance from Chestnut Hill residents, who desired to keep their neighborhood as a quiet and exclusive haven. Their efforts led the city to drop plans to extend the drive through the neighborhood, effectively leaving the northern section of Lincoln Drive in a discontinuous state.

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