Get to Know Merion Station
On the eastern side of the Main Line, Wynnewood and the adjacent Merion Station (or just "Merion") in Lower Merion Township are home to wealthy residential areas and offer easy access to major commuter highways such as I-76 (the Schuylkill Expressway), I-476 (the Blue Route) and U.S. Route 1 and Septa train access to Philadelphia or points west. The population of the two towns together is about 20,000. The towns are less than 10 miles from Philadelphia, so the commute is quite short.
The area, like many points on the Main Line, has roots in the late 1600s, when Welsh settlers established homes and a Quaker meetinghouse in the area. Over the next 200 years, the area would draw wealthy city residents who built grand mansions as summer homes. Many of these properties still stand, though on smaller parcels of land with some in-fill homes built around them.
One of this area's most famous residents was Dr. Albert C. Barnes, creator in 1899 of a medication to treat eye infections and by 1920, the owner of hundreds of paintings by European and American artists who would become renowned for their work. This jaw-dropping collection of Matisse, Renoir, Picasso, Cezanne and other works was housed for many years in the Barnes Foundation and residence on Latches Lane. It now is in a dedicated museum building in Philadelphia's Art Museum Area. For the back story behind this contentious move, see the 2009 documentary, The Art of the Steal.
Wynnewood-Merion Station once was known for its many car dealerships. Many of these have disappeared, but shopping still is very convenient for area residents with Ardmore's Suburban Square shopping area near by.
As for the area's real-estate offerings, Main Line homes for sale on the south side of Lancaster Avenue/Route 30 tend to be more modest and affordable for first-time real estate buyers, and homes of the north side tend to be the larger stone colonials that most people think when contemplating buying a home on the Main Line. Updated single-family homes in these areas usually start in the $400,000s. Sales of $1,000,000+ properties are common in both Wynnewood and Merion Station, and the area is noted for having one of the most expensive home sales on the Main Line, a 13-acre estate called "Inwood" built by publisher Walter Annenberg. It was sold after the death of his widow in 2009 to Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie for $14,000,000.
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