Phoenixville is a borough in Chester County, Pennsylvania, United States, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Philadelphia, at the junction of French Creek with the Schuylkill River. The first nail factory in the U.S., the French Creek Nail Works, was established in Phoenixville (then called Manavon) in 1790. In 1813, a bridge builder, Lewis Wernwag, became part owner and renamed it the Phoenix Iron Works. In 1840, new owners added a blast furnace. In 1855 a new group of owners incorporated as the Phoenix Iron Co. When the borough was incorporated in 1849, it incorporated the name of its major employer. After several ownership changes, the plant was completely shut down in 1949 and later acquired by the Barium Steel Corp. and renamed the Phoenix Iron & Steel Company, later The Phoenix Steel Corporation. The entire plant was shut down for the last time in 1987.
In March 2010, Philadelphia Magazine listed Phoenixville as one of “10 Awesome Neighborhoods To Call Home”.
Phoenixville is home to the Colonial Theatre, opened in 1903. In 1958, the theatre, along with some other parts of the borough, was featured in the motion picture The Blob. Beginning in 2000, Phoenixville has celebrated this with the annual Blobfest. Festivities include a reenactment of the scene featuring the Colonial. The Colonial runs special programs some weekends in July, and an ongoing series of movies and events for children.
Since 2004 on the first Friday night of every month, the downtown stores, restaurants and businesses and volunteer community groups hold special events including street musicians and entertainers and some outdoor concerts. This is referred to as “First Friday” by the locals. Also since 2004, Phoenixville has celebrated the “rebirth” of the town with the burning of a large wooden phoenix. The bonfire at the Firebird Festival is used to harden clay birds crafted over the preceding weeks. Phoenixville is in close proximity to Valley Forge National Park and the Perkiomen and Schuylkill River trails.