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Curbed Cup 2nd Round: (2) Fishtown vs. (7) Chestnut Hill

Which neighborhood should advance to the Final Four?

fishtown/kensington Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia™

Fishtown

Like its neighboring Northern Liberties, some might argue that Fishtown’s 15 minutes of fame is long gone. Not so. While new and old establishments like Johnny Brenda’s, Frankford Hall, and La Colombe have kept this neighborhood humming, there is a long list of projects planned for this hipster haven. There’s a new boutique hotel in the works next to Frankford Hall, as well as several rooms above the trendy Wm. Mulherin's Sons restaurant. Retail, residential, and restaurants are poised to transform Frankford Avenue under the El station, and a massive rock-climbing gym will be an anchor tenant in the Ed Corner building adaptive reuse project. No wonder folks are flocking to this hipster haven. Says one resident: “There’s a good mix of renters and homeowners, newbies and lifers. [...] I love being so close to so many small business, artists, musicians, and makers.”

Chestnut Hill

Until recently, this picturesque neighborhood up Germantown Avenue in Northwest Philadelphia managed to steer clear of new development, all while maintaining a bustling retail corridor and old-world charm. But today, it’s home to its first mixed-use development in two decades, One West, and a brand new chain grocery store just below it. Despite its location right on Germantown Avenue, One West manages to fit in with the mom-and-pop shops and historic structures that surround it, some which date back to the late 1700s. It’s an architecturally significant neighborhood, too, home to works by the Venturi’s and Louis Kahn. And despite being outside of Center City, Chestnut Hill prides itself as being an extremely walkable place—and green. There’s a reason the historic district has earned the moniker Philadelphia’s Garden District.