Posted on: June 17, 2013
History: In 1682, William Penn referred to the area north of Philadelphia as the “Liberties” because it consisted “Liberty Land or Free Lots”– additional land that was given away for free with a land purchase. The subsequent Northern Liberties township, which once contained the areas of Northern Liberties, Spring Garden, Kensington, Bridesburg, Penn, Richmond, and Aramingo before being whittled down to its current size, became one of America’s largest cities.
Situated on the waterfront, Northern Liberties was a thriving hub of trade, featuring lumber yards, farmer’s markets, mills, breweries, leather tanneries, paints and chemical works, tool making factories, and iron and stove foundries and other wholesale and retail shops. It also holds the status as a famous red-light district in the United States. Prior to annexation, the township was created as a less densely populated alternative to nearby Philadelphia. Because of this, it was later known colloquially as “Philadelphia’s first suburb.” In 1854, the Township officially became part of Philadelphia.
Today Northern Liberties is a beautiful neighborhood home to some 4,500 people and known for its vibrant community, outdoor spaces, and ever-growing collection of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and bars. In recent years, Northern Liberties has become a major enclave of young professionals, students, artists, and design professionals. Large improvement and revitalization projects have also been undertaken recently, causing a large jump in property values. The neighborhood’s proximity to Center City has made it one of the city’s most desirable development districts, both for commercial and residential real estate. Like most Philadelphia neighborhoods, the housing stock is primarily made up of row houses, although new development in recent times has brought apartment and condominium complexes. (About.com/ Wikipedia)
Boundaries: 6th Street to the West, Front Street to the East, Callowhill Street to the South and Girard Ave to the North.
Zip Codes: 19123
What to See / Do: The Edgar Allan Poe Historic Site, Yards Brewing Company, Liberty Lands Park, Northern Liberties Historic District, The Piazza at Schmidt’s / Liberties Walk, Many Bars and Restaurants.
More Information: NorthernLiberties.Org.
Schools: General Philip Kearny School, James R. Ludlow School, Laboratory Charter School, Walter D. Palmer Leadership Academy, Bodine High School For International Affairs, Kensington High School, Benjamin Franklin High School.