There are thousands of historic homes in Philadelphia. It is one of the greatest cities in American history, where many of this nation’s greatest stories and figures once lived. Subsequently, history comes alive in its homes.
Elfreth’s Alley is one of the oldest residential streets in Philadelphia. Constructed in 1706, this row of townhouses is a beautiful example of pre and post-Revolution architecture. The area remains a popular tourist destination in the heart of the city. In 1966, NPS designated the entire area a National Historic Landmark.
Strawberry Mansion, built in 1789 by judge and abolitionist William Lewis, is the largest of the Fairmount Park historic homes. Currently, it functions as a museum after being converted from a residence in the 1930s. The home is open for tours and frequently functions as a private rental space for events.
Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site
The Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site is preserved to reflect the writing environment of author Edgar Allen Poe. It is one of several homes in Philadelphia that Poe lived in during his time in the city. Notably, it is the only of his former homes that still stands. The home is open on weekends for visitors, but remains closed otherwise.
Laurel Hill Mansion
Laurel Hill Mansion, also known as Randolph House, is another historic Fairmount Park home. It sits on the Schuylkill River, on a crest above the water. The central part of the house was constructed in 1767, with the northern addition being added almost a century later. At the moment, the home hosts concerts and private tours.
Pennsbury Manor maintains the expansive ambition of it’s former owner, William Penn. Penn was the founder of the Colony of Pennsylvania and his former home remains a thriving museum. History fans can come for tours of the 43-acre grounds and a monthly historical book club. Additionally, curious young minds can attend summer history camps. The camp curriculum centers around learning the skills like gardening and needlework. For adults, the annual Brews & Bites Festival brings together craft beer, cider, wine, and local flavors for a relaxing afternoon on the Delaware River.
North America’s oldest botanical garden rounds out our list. Unusually, the house on the premises is not the main attraction, the estate that Bartram’s Garden sits on remains one of the most beautiful in Pennsylvania. The grounds are home to outdoor classes, a horticultural society, weddings, and many other events. It’s original owner, John Bartram, began the garden’s botanical legacy in 1728 and passed it down through his family tree.
Owning Your Own
If you love history or the beauty of historic architecture, why not live in a historic home yourself? Although these examples are not residential homes, you can find hundreds of historic homes for sale in the Philadelphia area. For an updated list of available homes in Philadelphia, browse Redfin’s listings for vintage homes. Or, browse Zillow’s area-zoned collection of historic listings.
Moving Into History
If you want to move into a historic home, it’s crucial to understand the challenges and responsibilities of ownership. Particularly, understanding the challenge of protecting a history home from damage during a move. For more information, check out our blog post about Moving Into a Historic Home.
Olympia has the experience to move you into your own historic home. We can make your transition from a modern house into a piece of the past easy and seamless.