Living in Luxury on Delancey Street

Whether on the eastern or western side of Center City, Philadelphia, the homes on Delancey Street are known for being luxurious, lovely, and historical. Along with living in a beautiful home, you’re also situated in the middle of a cultural hot spot.

While some areas of Philadelphia can be rough around the edges or a bit bohemian, Delancey Street — a narrow residential street that runs across the city from east to west — has a very different vibe. Here, you’ll find historic mansions with enough square footage to make your jaw drop. Whether you’re looking at homes in the Rittenhouse or Fitler Square neighborhood or over in Society Hill on the eastern side of Center City, luxury is what defines life on Delancey.

Common Features

Many of the homes on Delancey Street (also called Delancey Place for a few blocks) are listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places and both Society Hill and the Rittenhouse/Fitler Square areas of the city are considered historic districts, defined as a “collection of historic resources that are linked geographically or thematically.” The houses you’ll find on Delancey share a lot in common. For example, several homes on the 1700 block of Delancey Place are described as being Italianate. Homes in the Italianate style are often between two and four stories, with tall and narrow windows, and elaborate cornices at the top. Homes on Delancey in the Rittenhouse/Fitler section were most likely built in the middle of the 19th century.

Over in Society Hill, the homes on Delancey often date to the mid-1960s, although some are from the 19th century and some date back as far as the 1700s. The houses listed on the inventory for the historic district range in style from Georgian to Neo-Colonial. They typically have two or three stories, brick fronts, and shutters.

Neighborhood Activities and Amenities

Society Hill and the Rittenhouse and Fitler Square areas both offer plenty to do and plenty of amenities if you decide to call Delancey home. The Rittenhouse/Fitler Square area is anchored by two parks: Rittenhouse Square Park at 18th and Walnut, and Fitler Square at 23rd and Pine Street. Both parks are home to year-round farmers’ markets, which are held on Saturdays. Rittenhouse Square also holds a farmers’ market on Tuesday during the warmer seasons.

Society Hill also has its share of parks, one of them right on Delancey Street. Located on Delancey between 3rd and 4th Street, Three Bears Park is so-called because of the statue of three bears in the middle of it. The small park features hedges along its perimeter, several benches, and a playground set.

If you live on Delancey in Society Hill, you’ll be within easy reach of one of the largest farmer’s markets in the city. The Headhouse Farmers’ Market is held on Sundays from May until December and usually features about 40 vendors. Not just a place to pick up fresh produce, the market features baked goods, flowers, and even wine.

Cultural Institutions

Along with being the location for impressive and historic homes, Delancey is also the site of a number of historic establishments. The theater currently known as Plays and Players Theatre was first built in 1913 and has been an active theater for live performance ever since. It’s even been said that the third floor of the theater is haunted.

The Rosenbach Museum & Library also calls Delancey Place home. The library counts among its possessions a manuscript of Ulysses by James Joyce, as well as the Maurice Sendak Collection, the major repository of illustrations and manuscripts from the famed children’s book author.

If living in luxury with a touch of history is what you’re after, Delancey Street might be the perfect place for you.


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