Posts Tagged ‘Elfreth’s Alley’

Philadelphia is universally known as the City of Brotherly Love.  It’s probably mostly unknown as “City of Homes.” The Philadelphia Encyclopedia says:

Lining Philadelphia’s straight, gridiron streets, the row house defines the vernacular architecture of the city and reflects the ambitions of the people who built and lived there. Row houses were built to fit all levels of taste and budgets, from single-room bandbox plans to grand town houses. The row house was easy to build on narrow lots and affordable to buy, and its pervasiveness resulted in Philadelphia becoming the “City of Homes” by the end of the nineteenth century. As Philadelphia emerged as an industrial epicenter, the row house became synonymous with the city and was held up as an exemplar for egalitarian housing for all.

The 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 Thursday Doors entry about it, just click on the highlighted link (the first one).  Most people in Philadelphia live in a row house.

© janet m. webb 2017

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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