About West Chester, PA

Greater West Chester is a thriving community with easy access to the larger cities of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del. The area’s seven townships have many historical buildings and attractions nearby, including Valley Forge and Brandywine Battlefield. QVC, the well-known shopping network, is based in West Chester, and the city is home to several small businesses.

Streets of West Chester

History

The area was originally known as Turk’s Head — after the inn of the same name located in what is now the center of the borough. West Chester has been the seat of government in Chester County since 1786, and the borough incorporated in 1799. In the heart of town is its courthouse, a classical revival building designed in the 1840s by Thomas U. Walter, one of the architects for the Capitol in Washington, D.C. In the 18th century West Chester was a center of clockmaking. In the late 19th century the Hoopes, Bro. and Darlington company became a major wheelworks, first for wagons and later automobiles. In the early 20th century, an important industry was the Sharples cream separator company. In the late 20th century, the pioneer in microcomputers Commodore International, giving its headquarters as West Chester, was located approximately a mile northeast of the borough.

The West Chester Downtown Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Other listed properties are the Bank of Chester County, Buckwalter Building, Butler House, Chester County Courthouse, William Everhart Buildings, Farmers and Mechanics Building, First Presbyterian Church of West Chester, New Century Clubhouse, Joseph Rothrock House, Sharples Homestead, Sharples Separator Works, Warner Theater West Chester Boarding School for Boys, and West Chester State College Quadrangle Historic District.