Posts Tagged ‘row houses’

A house that has virtually no plants or trees of any kind around it always looks sad and barren to me, something not integrated with nature in any way. In a city like Philadelphia with many row houses, there are few yards and rarely any surrounding a home. However, home or business owners still find ways to bring nature to their doors, gladdening the hearts of passers while making doors and entryways more attractive.

It seems very safe to me to be surrounded by green growing things and water. ~Barbara Kingsolver

Only as far as the masters of the world have called in nature to their aid, can they reach the height of magnificence. This is the meaning of their hanging-gardens, villas, garden-houses, islands, parks, and preserves.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Even in a stately part of Philadelphia there’s room for a bit of whimsy. Yet, in keeping with the row houses around it, the details provide just enough counterpoint to even things out.

Our weekly doorman for Thursday Doors is Norman the Doorman, although not the “Norman the Doorman” of my childhood book. Our Norman certainly isn’t a mouse and he lives in Montreal.  But both Normans are cute and personable, so stop by the first for a visit (and links to all the doors) and check out the second at the library (or a summary by clicking the link.)

copyright janet m. webb


copyright janet m. webb

Either sniffing the air or feeling we’re not good enough to be there

copyright janet m. webb



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