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Media, Pennsylvania

Borough of Media
Bank building on State Street
Nickname: Everybody's Hometown
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Delaware
Elevation 299 ft (91.1 m)
Area 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)
 - land 0.8 sq mi (2 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Population 5,533 (2000)
Density 7,399.0 / sq mi (2,856.8 / km2)
Incorporated 1850
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19063
Area code 610
Location of Media in Delaware County
Location of Media in Pennsylvania
Delaware County Courthouse

The borough of Media is the county seat of Delaware County, Pennsylvania[1] and is located 12 miles (19 km) west of Philadelphia. Media was incorporated in 1850 at the same time that it was named the county seat.[2] The population was 5,533 at the 2000 census. Its school district is the Rose Tree Media School District with Penncrest High School and Springton Lake Middle School. In June 2006, it became the first fair trade town in America.[3]

The history of the area goes back to William Penn, but the area remained predominantly rural until the twentieth century.[4] The Delaware County Institute of Science was founded in Media in 1833, while the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, a two-year technical college, Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades a three-year technical college, and Delaware County Community College, a two-year liberal arts college, are located nearby. Media promotes itself as "Everybody's Hometown."


  • History 1
    • Media and the FBI 1.1
  • Landmarks 2
  • Surrounding area 3
  • Geography and climate 4
  • Demographics 5
  • Government 6
  • Religion 7
  • Transportation 8
    • Media train station 8.1
    • Elwyn train station 8.2
    • Williamson School train station 8.3
  • Notable people 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Land in the area was sold and settled soon after

  • Borough of Media (Official borough website)
  • Visit Media PA (Official borough business and events directory; visitor information)
  • Historical Photographs
  • Media Arts Council
  • Media Borough at
  • Media's Fair Trade Town Committee
  • Nether Providence History
  • Media, PA News
  • Transition Town Media
  • All Things Media, PA
  • Semi-centennial of the Borough of Media, Penna., May 19, 1900. Media, PA: T.V. Cooper. 1900. p. 112. 
  • Lenny Campello (November 27, 2007). Sunday Evening Stroll through Media, PA. Media, PA. 
Providence Road (center of map) from Thomas Holme's 1687 map of Pennsylvania. Present day Media is located within the plots marked "P.Taylor" and "W.Taylor."

External links

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Ashmead, Henry Graham (1884). History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Co. Chapters XVI and XLVI. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  3. ^ First Free Trade Town
  4. ^ "A Brief History of Media: 1900 to 1950". Community. Borough of Media. Retrieved February 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ Media: A Walking Tour, Published by the Borough of Media, 1990
  6. ^ History of Delaware County
  7. ^ Nether Providence Through the Years (Delaware County Historical Society)
  8. ^ The City of Philadelphia two Miles in Length and one in Breadth (Lower Merion Historical Society)
  9. ^ Minshall House
  10. ^ The trackless train: Tracking Delco's role in the Underground Railroad, Feb. 27, 1989, Loretta Rodgers, Delaware County Daily Times
  11. ^ Tyler Arboretum History
  12. ^ The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts - History
  13. ^ Medsger, Betty (January 2014). The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI. Random House. p. 592.  
  14. ^ a b c Pennsylvania Veteran's Museum accessed October 28, 2009
  15. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  16. ^ 19063
  17. ^ "Monthly Averages for Media, Pennsylvania". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  19. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  22. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  23. ^ Media Borough Council Members
  24. ^ "Religious Organizations in Media". Welcome to Media Borough. Borough of Media, Pennsylvania. Retrieved April 9, 2009. 
  25. ^ History, Synagogue website. Accessed July 23, 2008.
  26. ^ US Expressway 1 South of Philadelphia - Historic Overview
  27. ^  
  28. ^ Statistics: Top 30 World Airports
  29. ^ Google Map directions
  30. ^ I Got a Name The Jim Croce Story, Published by Da Capo Press, 2012
  31. ^ Bio: Carpenter Paul Dimeo of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
  32. ^ "Dave Anderson, "SPORTS OF THE TIMES; Tug McGraw Changes Lanes", The New York Times, Feb 19, 1985."


Jaison House

Notable people

  • The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades

The original station is located on the grounds of the Williamson Free School. When the line was open, the station mainly served students and faculty of the facility.

The station, and all of those west of Elwyn, was closed in September 1986, due to deteriorating track conditions and Chester County's desire to expand facilities at Exton Station on SEPTA's Paoli/Thorndale Line. Service was "temporarily suspended" at that time, with substitute bus service provided. Williamson School station still appears in publicly posted tariffs.

The Williamson School train station is an abandoned train station located on Station Drive near New Middletown Road in Middletown Twp, Pennsylvania. The station was a stop on the Pennsylvania Railroad's West Chester Line. It later became a part of SEPTA's R3 West Chester.

Williamson School
Former train station
The former Williamson School station in January 2013.
Location Station Drive
Media, Pennsylvania
Owned by SEPTA
Line(s) Pennsylvania Railroad, SEPTA R3 West Chester Line
Platforms 1 side platform
Tracks 1
Opened 1888
Closed 1986
Electrified 1928
No services
  Former services  
Preceding station   SEPTA   Following station
toward West Chester
Media/Elwyn Line
Pennsylvania Railroad
toward West Chester
West Chester Branch

Williamson School train station

Elwyn train station

Media train station

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), the 11th busiest airport in the world in 2007, is 10.2 miles (16.4 km) driving distance (about 15 minutes) from downtown Media, following Baltimore Pike east, then Interstate 476 south and Interstate 95 northeast.[28][29]

U.S. 1 formerly ran through the borough until the "Media bypass" was completed in 1960.[26] The bypass has an unusual "volleyball" or three-level diamond interchange with Interstate 476. The road, formerly known as Route 1, is also known by its even older name, Baltimore Pike.[27]

Media is connected to Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, by the 101 trolley. The trolley terminates just after the Delaware County Courthouse, at a station known as Orange Street. Media also has a stop on the Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line at the corner of Orange Street and Station Road.

The Route 101 trolley near Veteran's Square


Media is home to many churches, including Cambell A.M.E, Christ Church (Episcopalian), First Baptist, First United Methodist, Media Presbyterian, Nativity B.V.M. (Roman Catholic), St. George (Greek Orthodox), the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County and two Quaker meetinghouses, Media Friends Meeting and Providence Friends Meeting.[24] Congregation Beth Israel, a Reconstructionist synagogue formed in 1925, is west of town in Middletown Township and is the oldest Reconstructionist congregation in the Delaware Valley.[25]

The former Friends Select School on Gayley Street, was also home to the Congregation Beth Israel


Current Borough Council members are as follows: Kevin Boyer, Kent Davidson, Sayre Dixon, Amy Johnson and Lisa Johnson.[23]

The Borough of Media, Pennsylvania is run by a Mayor and an elected Borough Council. Their main responsibility is to ensure the safety and livelihood of the residents of Media. Mayor Bob McMahon was first elected in 1992; Brian C. Hall, Esq. serves as President and Paul Robinson is Media's Vice-President.


The population in 1900 consisted of 3,075 people, whose numbers grew to 3,562 in 1910, and to 5,351 in 1940.

The median income for a household in the borough was $42,703, and the median income for a family was $58,065. Males had a median income of $42,121 versus $31,904 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,188. About 6.1% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.

In the borough the population was spread out with 13.7% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 34.3% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 20.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.

There were 2,782 households out of which 14.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.2% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.0% were non-families. 49.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.85 and the average family size was 2.73.

As of the census[21] of 2000, there were 5,533 people, 2,782 households, and 1,112 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,399.0 people per square mile (2,848.4/km²). There were 2,966 housing units at an average density of 3,966.3 per square mile (1,526.9/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 81.02% White, 14.22% African American, 0.14% Native American, 2.01% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.65% from other races, and 1.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.88% of the population.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), of which 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) is land and 1.33% is water.

Media is located at (39.918761, -75.388127).[18]

Media, Pennsylvania
Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[17]

Geography and climate

Since the borough of Media is only 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2) and the "Media ZIP code" 19063 covers a much larger area,[16] the geographic term "Media" is often used in a sense that includes not only the borough of Media, but other contiguous areas that are part of other municipalities but that share the ZIP code. These include the entire Upper Providence Township, and in Nether Providence Township, the neighborhoods of South Media, Bowling Green, Pine Ridge and Ridgewood most of Middletown Township including the entire Elwyn, Bortondale, Riddlewood, Lima, Glen Riddle, and Lenni neighborhoods. Even some parts of Marple Township have the zip code 19063.

Surrounding area

  • Media Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (1875) and Media-Providence Friends School (1876), both located at 125 W. 3rd Street.
  • Dr. Samuel D. Risley House (1877) 430 N. Monroe St.
  • Hillhurst (1890) on Orange Street, designed by Addison Hutton.
  • Provident National Bank (1900) on State Street at Veterans’ Square, designed by Albert Dilks. Google Street View
  • Media Armory (1908) on State Street, designed by William S. Price and M H. McClanahan. It now houses the Pennsylvania Veterans Museum and Trader Joe’s.[14]
  • Media Theatre (1927) on State Street, designed by Louis Magaziner as a Beaux-arts movie palace with Art Deco design elements. It now is home to the Media Theatre for the Performing Arts.[14]
  • Jaisohn House, 100 East Lincoln Street Google Street View
  • Old Rose Tree Tavern (1809), listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.[15]
Media Friends Meeting
  • Minshall House (c.1750) on Route 252.
  • Media Presbyterian Church (1855) at Baltimore Ave. and Church Street, designed by John McArthur, Jr., architect of Philadelphia City Hall.
  • Delaware County Institute of Science (1867) on Veterans’ Square. Google Street View
  • Cooper House (before 1870) on State Street.
  • Delaware County Court House (1871) on Front Street. Google Street View
Risley House


Media may be best known for secret government documents that were illegally seized there by activists in 1971 and distributed nationwide. On March 8 of that year, the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI raided an FBI "resident agency" in Media. They later released thousands of documents to major newspapers around the country. These documents revealed controversial and illegal FBI tactics, like the recruitment of Boy Scouts as informants, and confirmed for the first time the existence of COINTELPRO, an FBI program to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" dissident groups in the United States.[13]

Media and the FBI

External video
Media, PA - Walking Tour, by Wanda Kaluza
Media, PA CoyopaFilms

In June 2006, Media became the first town in the United States to follow over three-hundred towns in Europe in attaining fair trade certification. To meet the criteria for certification, Media passed a council resolution in support of fair trade, serve fair-trade coffee and tea in local government meetings and offices, ensure that a range of fair-trade products were available in local restaurants and businesses, raise popular support and provide media coverage for the fair-trade campaign, and convene a fair-trade steering committee to ensure continued commitment.

The Media Theatre opened as a vaudeville house in 1927.[12] The first talkie film, The Jazz Singer, was shown there. It remained a popular cinema through the 1970s. In 1994, the theater was refurbished by Walter Strine, Sr. and reopened as a professional live music theater. Shows produced there include "The Full Monty", "Carousel" and "Miss Saigon". Tony Award winners Judy Kaye and David Miller have performed there.

The Media Theatre for the Performing Arts

The West Chester and Philadelphia Railroad was built through Media on October 19, 1854. Electrified service was opened on December 2, 1928. Up to 50 trains passed through each day. The railroad became part of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad and eventually the Penn Central. SEPTA took over operations in 1983. Woodrow Wilson spoke at the Media Station in 1912 during his first election campaign. Trolley transportation lines spread to and through Media in the 1890s and early 1900s.

In the second half of the 19th Century, Media was a summer resort for well-to-do Philadelphians. The borough's large vacation hotels included the Idlewild Hotel (1871) on Lincoln Street at Gayley Terrace, Chestnut Grove House or "The Colonial" (1860) on Orange Street, and Brooke Hall on Lemon Street and Washington Ave. (now Baltimore Ave.). The Chestnut Grove was used for a year by nearby Swarthmore College due to a fire on their campus.

Minshall Painter was also a leader of the Delaware County Institute of Science, which was formed on September 21, 1833 with just four other members: George Miller, John Miller, George Smith, M.D., and John Cassin. The Institute was incorporated in 1836. About 1850, Painter gave the Institute the land where its building currently stands at 11 Veteran's Square, and the building was constructed in 1867.

Thomas Minshall house

The John J. Tyler Arboretum occupies part of Thomas Minshall's original 625 acres (253 ha). This farm was used by the underground railroad.[10] The land was donated to a public trust in 1944 by an eighth generation descendant. The arboretum was started as a private collection by brothers Jacob and Minshall Painter. In 1825, they began systematically planting over 1,000 varieties of trees and shrubs. Over 20 of their original trees survive including a giant sequoia.[11]

Streets were plotted in a rectangular grid around the location of the new courthouse, lots were sold at public auctions, and the construction of houses began. Sources agree that Minshall Painter, a descendant of Thomas Minshall, suggested the name "Media", but do not agree on the reason. The name may come from the city’s central location in Delaware County, or from the biblical area of Medea.

Chester County was divided in 1789, the eastern portion becoming Delaware County. The area in the center of the new county remained rural through 1850. On March 11, 1850, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Special Act of Assembly incorporated the Borough of Media, and made the sale of malt and spirituous liquors unlawful within its borders. At the same time, the county seat of Delaware County was moved to Media from Chester. The borough was formed from four farms purchased by the county, totalling only 480 acres (190 ha). The borders of the borough have not changed since that time.

Minshall bought 625 acres (253 ha) from William Penn and arrived in 1682. The Providence Friends Meeting was established at his house in February, 1688, and a meetinghouse was later built on land he donated for the purpose. The original meetinghouse was built out of logs in 1699 or 1700 and the current building dates to 1814. A house on Minshall’s property, built c. 1750, still stands and was given to the citizens of the borough in 1975.[9]

Thomas Minshall, a Quaker, was an early Media resident, settling just outside the small village then known as Providence, along the Providence Great Road. The village then included a tailor shop, blacksmith shop, wheelwright shop, barn and other buildings.

In 1683, the Court of Chester County approved the construction of "Providence Great Road" (now Pennsylvania Route 252). The road, which runs north from Chester to within a few blocks from today's downtown, is shown on a 1687 map along with the names of local landowners.[8] It forms the eastern border of the borough.

The current borough, formed in 1850, sits between the two townships. [7][6]

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