Neighborhood Profile: SOCIETY HILL

Posted on: April 1, 2013

History:   The district is named after the 18th century Free Society of Traders, which had its offices at Front Street on the hill above Dock Creek. Located close to both the Delaware River and Philadelphia’s civic buildings, including Independence Hall, the neighborhood soon became one of the city’s most populous areas.

Several market halls, taverns and churches were built alongside brick houses of Philadelphia’s affluent citizens.

In the 19th century, the city expanded westward and the area lost its appeal. Houses deteriorated until the 1950s, when the city, state and federal governments started one of the first urban renewal programs aimed at the preservation of historic buildings. While most commercial 19th-century buildings were demolished, historically-significant houses were restored by occupants or taken over by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and sold to individuals who agreed to restore the exteriors. Replicas of 18th-century street lights and brick sidewalks were added to enhance the colonial atmosphere. Empty lots and demolished buildings were replaced with parks, walkways, and modern townhouses.

Today Society Hill contains more Georgian structures than any neighborhood in the country. The area is now known for a rich cultural and ethnic diversity and remains a mostly residential neighborhood.

(From Wikipedia)

Boundaries: The neighborhood is bordered by Walnut Street to the North, Lombard Street to the South, Front Street to the East and 8th Street to the West.

Zip Code:  19106

What To See / Do: Society Hill Synagogue, St. Peter’s Church, Merchant’s Exchange Building,  Hill-Physick-Keith HousePowel House, Society Hill Playhouse.

Dining, Shopping and Bars: Not For Tourists

Schools: General George A. McCall School, Furness High School.

Public Transportation:  SEPTA bus transportation is available in the neighborhood. Nearby are the Old City and 5th and 8th and Market Stops on The Market-Frankford Line.

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