Not everyone sees the historic Philadelphia that many of us have grown to love. And with over 100 distinct neighborhoods in the Philadelphia area, it is easy to see how many people would miss the historic gems located throughout this great city. Here is a list to help you get to know and love the most historic Philadelphia neighborhoods in the city of brotherly love.
Old City is one of Philadelphia’s most historic neighborhoods. It stretches from Chestnut to Vine and Front to 6th, giving it plenty of space to display the restored 18th-century homes alongside the modern restaurants and trendy art galleries. The addition of modern spaces to this historic Philadelphia neighborhood perfectly highlights the restoration projects that have rejuvenated Old City. The area features restored houses, historic places of worship, century-old burial grounds, and historic factory and warehouse spaces converted into residents, offices, and studios.
If you have a keen historic eye, you may even notice the historic buildings founded by William Penn and his Quakers. Be sure to take a stroll over to the nearby Liberty Bell or Philly’s historic Independence Hall, where Jefferson drafted the critical American legislation, the Declaration of Independence.
For a more traditionally historic area, check out Philly’s Society Hill neighborhood, a historic part of Philadelphia that has been continually restored to its late 18th- and early 19th-century splendor. This residential neighborhood shows traditional Philadelphia values, with its classic firehouse (the country’s oldest, in fact), colonial-era marketplace, Head House, and more. To check out Society Hill’s historic grandeur, take a walk on the scenic streets between Walnut and Lombard and Front and 8th streets.
Kensington & Richmond
For a different historic tour of Philadelphia, visit the city’s blue-collar, hardworking immigrant roots in the Kensington and Richmond neighborhoods. This postindustrial part of Philly showcases the roots of the city through its Roman Catholic, Polish, Italian, and Irish immigrants. While you’re there, pick up a classic Philly slice at the area’s famed Tacconelli’s Pizzeria.
Chestnut Hill & Germantown
Two more historic neighborhoods are Chestnut Hill and Germantown, northwest neighborhoods that made up the city’s “streetcar suburb”–so named for the working-class families who commuted to the city center daily on the city’s mass transportation. These two areas offer the colonial-era Philadelphia character that makes Philadelphia uniquely “Philly.”
While in the area, be sure to see at the architectural wonder and fortitude of the Morris Arboretum on the University of Philadelphia campus.
The neighborhood of Fox Chase is home to some of the richest history in the city, from its many historic mansions to its colonial-era churches. The area has historically been home to Philadelphia’s wealthy elite, making the architecture in Fox Chase unsurpassed in terms of grandeur. While there, don’t miss out on your opportunity to see Fox Chase Farm–a farm created in 1693 with a grant from Pennsylvania’s famed William Penn.
Philadelphia has a lot of historic gems scattered throughout. They vary in age, history, and style, but they’re all worth seeing and learning about to get a sense of this city’s rich past.