Just across the Schuylkill from Historic Manayunk, Bala Cynwyd began development in earnest early in the 20th century as one of the first "Main Line" neighborhoods. The name derives from Welsh immigrants who settled the area beginning in 1682, hailing from the region of Bala and Cynwyd in North Wales. A group of families seeking a place to practice their Quaker faith, purchased 5,000 acres from William Penn.
Bala Cynwyd is home to West Laurel Hill Cemetery, which was entered onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. It was established in 1869 as successor to the earlier Laurel Hill Cemetery, and continues as a well-preserved example of a romantic-style, rural cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place of many notables including sculptor Alexander Calder, architect Horace Trumbauer, inventor Eldrige Johnson (founder of the Victor Talking Machine, Co.), and "father of baseball," Harry Wright.
In 1906, the Lower Merion Realty Company advertised a new, 12-room, 3-bath "Dutch Colonial" home for $12,000.  The Pennsylvania Railroad saw fit to adapt appropriate Welsh names for various stations along the main line.
The median age of detached single family homes is circa 1936; the median lot size is slightly less than one-quarter of an acre; and the median interior living space is approximately 2,600 sq. ft.
The area is also home to a number of condominium buildings built in the 1940s, 1960s, and later.
Bala Cynwyd is bounded by the Schuylkill Expressway, City Line Avenue, Montgomery Avenue, Manayunk Rd, Rock Hill Rd. Conshohocken State Road (Route 23) runs, roughly, through the center of the neighborhood, north to south.