Thursday Doors…the Alley

Posted: September 22, 2016 in Thursday doors
Tags: , , , ,

I’m moving up a few centuries or more and over a continent this week to feature part one of a post I’ve been promising Dan at NoFacilities for some time.  He told me that when I was in Philadelphia, I should stop by Elfreth’s Alley and I’d find not only history, but lots of doors for Thursday Doors.  Well, Dan, I made it and you were right! Here’s a bit of what I found.

The Alley in old City of Philadelphia is the oldest residential street in the US, but was originally set up as alternative route to the river when the city was becoming overcrowded. Two landowners combined their properties in 1706 to open the cart path named for silversmith Jeremiah Elfreth. As with so many other historic locations, the work of a diverse group of people saved and restored the Alley and, in the 1960’s, obtained National Historic Landmark status, preserving the Alley for all of us.

Between now and Wednesday, I’ll be mostly offline, so have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you then (or maybe before, depending upon my time.)

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

  1. What a fascinating street, so glad they took the time to preserve it. Love the bright red shutters!

    • I’m glad, too, Susan. People still live in these houses, which is even nicer. Some of them were sitting outside when we walked by. I love the street, but I can’t imagine living somewhere where hundreds of people walked only a few feet from your front door every day.


  2. Sue says:

    Wow, great street!

    • They really are, Regina. It would be a bit odd to live there, though, and have visitors that close to your house all the time. I’d love to see the inside of one of the houses, too, to get a better idea of how large/small they are.


  3. […] More doors here: […]

  4. Dan Antion says:

    Red door. Working red shutters. Red basement access hatch. That’s a trifecta for sure, Janet. These buildings have such a wonderful look to them, and your photos are fantastic! I love walking around Philadelphia. I haven’t been there since I was caught in the door-phenom, but I hope to get back. Thanks for sharing these photos and thanks for the shout-out.

    • Thanks for telling me about the Alley. I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise and it’s a great place. Walking around Philly after getting the door disease is a bit of a problem as there are so many old, wonderful doors (and houses/buildings.) It makes for either slow progress or regret at all the doors missed.


  5. BeckyB says:

    oh wow what wonderful doors . . . .thank you for sharing and also to Dan for inspiring you to go!

    • Glad you enjoyed them, Becky. Walking along the street is like falling into living American history and so much fun. I’m glad Dan told me about it or I wouldn’t have even known it was there. There are a few other similar spots I’ve seen like this, but none so old.


  6. Joanne Sisco says:

    What a wonderful find!! I love these little alleyways that one can find in old cities. I wish I had known about this treasure when I visited Philadelphia.

    Those little cold cellar access doors are the most eye-catching to me. It’s not something I see here, so it is such a novelty to see every home with one. And yes, I also vote for the home with the red accent shutters, etc to match the door. It’s a wow.

    • Another thing we did once was take a Big Bus tour. Our daughter had some free tickets, so the price was right. It was so interesting. You could get on and off at designated spots and the narrator knew everything about the city. We saw lots of places we then didn’t have to go back to see and others that we could return to later.

      The cellars are still in use all over the city, but not usually painted in such attractive colors.


  7. joey says:

    Oh these are all just gorgeous! Right up my alley, so to speak. What a lovely collection! Dan clearly gave you a great suggestion and you photographed them beautifully 🙂

  8. Vicky says:

    I love when things/places that are worth preserving make it- what a beautiful place and the red doors and shutters stand out so much. Even more impressive is the fact that it was a group of people who did this. Lovely post , thank you so much for sharing.

  9. Incredible colors. Maroon and lime!? Thanks for the history lesson

  10. Norm 2.0 says:

    Some great shots in this collection. It brings back fond memories of our visit there a few years ago. It really is a delightful little stretch of alleyway.
    I’d love to see the inside of some of these places, but like you, I’m not sure I’d want to live there with all the tourists and foot traffic.

  11. Love it. Enjoy you’re time away. Randy

  12. Those are some beautiful doors and shutters!! I love how the cellar door matches the vibrant red in the first photo.

  13. Les says:

    Elfie’s Alley is one of the oldest streets in Philadelphia. Since I live about a hours drive away, I’ve been there 2 times. Independence Park is just a short walk away. Lot’s of things to see here.

  14. What a great place, so much history preserved. Love these photos, Janet.

  15. jesh stg says:

    Beautiful and well taken care of! Love your captures. It still looks kinda European -maybe because of the brick work:)

  16. Great shots of doors and buildings! Can’t believe these structures are over 200 years old; very nice preservation efforts.

  17. What great alley! I agree with Dan who said, “Trifecta!”. Red doors, shutters, and cellar doors too!

  18. I absolutely LOVE the colors. Charming street or alley. 🙂

  19. […] oldest residential city street in the US, Elfreth’s Alley  in Philadelphia, is a showplace of 18th century row houses still in use. If you missed my post and […]

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