ARDMORE, Pa. (CBS) – Ardmore is only about 10 minutes outside of Philadelphia, but it’s no sleepy suburb. Ardmore prides itself on its mix of people, places, and pastimes for day and night.
If you drive around Ardmore, you’ll find yourself in two different townships in two counties. Part of Ardmore is Montgomery County’s Lower Merion Township, the other part, Haverford Township, Delaware County.
Mapes Stores started on the Main Line in 1897, and they are still a one-stop shop for neighbors in the know. Store manager Ray Benner remembers when they moved to Ardmore.
“Well, Ardmore is a busy little town, and we saw the need and they needed us, so we came here,” Benner said.
Ardmore’s business district calls itself the Main Street of the Main Line, but after hours, there’s also a hopping music scene, from the 600-seat Ardmore Music Hall to new venues like The Living Room at 35 East, an intimate space for up to 40 people.
Owner Laura Mann said, “There was a need for it in a way. Sometimes artists want to go out and just do something unplugged and something a little bit more intimate.”
Developers see opportunity in Ardmore. For example, a new mixed-use building, One Ardmore Place, will open in 2019.
With all the changes, we found residents working to preserve the diversity they love. Amy McCann spruced up a storefront space for the community to share: Common Space. It hosts everything from story hours for kids to neighborhood discussions.
“We’ve hosted racism town halls, we’ve hosted conversations related to LGBTQ+. We are being very intentional with our program so people come together,” McCann said.
Ardmore values its green space. For example, several years ago, the township and residents rescued a street corner parking lot and created a paradise, Linwood Park. Hasan Rucker says the flat patio and flowers are perfect for his Thursday evening tai chi classes.
“It’s the whole feng shui here,” he said. “You have the clear open skies surrounded by nature, flowers, trees. All these make for a great tai chi space.”
In summertime, the Ardmore Pool comes alive. Seven-year-old Jasmine Rountree said she loves how the park is put together. “Everybody has to have fun in the pool,” she said.
Matt Clark, aquatics director of Ardmore Pool, said, “Besides just the pool, which we see everybody loves, you also have the basketball courts and tennis parks. Right next door is the community center. Everything right here in this one little corner of town. Can’t ask for anything better.”