Try to describe Queen Village without using cliched words like “quaint” and “picturesque,” and you might just find yourself at a loss. For this historic quarter — roughly bounded by Front and Sixth streets to the east and west, and Lombard and Washington to the north and south — boasts cobbled streets, hidden mews and more charm per square foot than nearly anywhere else in the city. The area the Lenni Lenape referred to as "Wiccaco," meaning “pleasant place,” was settled by Swedes before William Penn reached these shores and named it Southwark. Rechristened in the 1970s to honor Sweden’s Queen Christina, the neighborhood has retained its historic character, while embracing subsequent waves of immigrants and their cultures.
According to Michele Golembeski, a Realtor with Plumer & Associates and longtime Queen Village resident, what makes the neighborhood so attractive is that it does actually feel like a village. “It’s one of the city’s most walkable and bike friendly neighborhoods,” she reveals, “with plenty of green space for enjoying nature, and dog parks to share with your four-legged friends. And there are so many restaurants and local pubs to choose from, you wish there were more days in the week. It’s a neighborhood where people frequently say hello when you pass by them.”
The median sale price of a single family home is $610,000, while the median sale price of a condo is $316,921, making Queen Village one of the city’s pricier neighborhoods. Its livability, however, makes it a great value, says Golembeski.
One of the things that best defines Queen Village is its sheer number of locally owned businesses. Longtime resident Richard De Wyngaert describes it as “a dynamic blend of multiple generations, economic diversity and forward-looking, engaged residents who take real pride in supporting independent businesses.” He should know: his bookstore, Head House Books, has been a neighborhood staple since 2005.
There is real cultural diversity, as well, with shops, restaurants and markets reflecting the heritage of generations of immigrants who have called this neighborhood home.
Rentals average $1,423 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, with many of these clustered around the newly revitalized Fourth Street Fabric Row. One of the most recently gentrified corners of Queen Village, the stretch of Fourth Street between Lombard and Christian — once the heart of Philadelphia’s textile industry where businesses stayed in families for generations — is now seeing an influx of new, younger business owners, bringing with them trendy boutiques, buzzworthy dining spots and even a cat cafe.
This type of revitalization is in keeping with the changes that Golembeski has witnessed first-hand as a resident. “Queen Village has really evolved with me,” she notes, “from the time I came here as a young professional, then raised my kids here and now as an empty nester.” De Wyngaert agrees: “Queen Village is exceptionally vital — it just keeps getting better and better.”