Torresdale was the home of affluent early Philadelphians. Bankers, industrialists, politicians owned large farms and estates in the area, and established several traditions. They brought fun and light (literally) to the Delaware River by hosting the Rowing Association races. By the 1890’s some of the first electrification illuminated the waterfront while they hosted Rowing Association races for universities from throughout the east coast.
Developers bought many of the Torresdale estates when its resident families bought cars and moved farther away. The post-war housing boom set Torresdale’s destiny as a “suburb within the city.” Remnants of the old farm roads and some large estates still exist in contemporary Torresdale.