Nestled in the heart of the Brandywine Valley, downtown West Chester reflects the small-town charm and cosmopolitan tastes that prompted The Philadelphia Inquirer to call West Chester ". . . one of the world's most perfect small towns."
West Chester was first settled in 1712 and since then has offered hospitality for visitors from around the world. It became the seat for Chester County in 1786, its current boundaries were established in 1788 and incorporated as a borough in 1799. A timeline of West Chester's development is found at Historic Milestones of West Chester. Stroll along brick sidewalks past the building where Abraham Lincoln began his quest for the presidency; where the great African-American folk artist Horace Pippin lived and painted; and where America's preeminent composer Samuel Barber was born and raised (best known for his Adagio for String Orchestra).
The entire downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy the Greek Revival architecture along High Street that gave West Chester the nickname Athens of the West. Within the Borough limits, there are over 4,200 structures dating back to the colonial period.