Attached Home, circa. 1750
Inside: three bedrooms, one full bath, brick exterior w/ stone foundation, basement laundry & mechanicals
It is a rare opportunity to be able to live in a historic house. It’s even rarer that you can do this in a city and reap all the benefits of urban living. And, as if that wasn’t good enough, this house is located on an entire block of fabulous vintage colonial row homes in the Olde City historic district, in Center City Philadelphia. It just doesn’t get any better than this, if a period home is what you’re looking for.
This particular home still has original wide plank pine flooring, newly refinished, in several of the rooms. Also, there are five fireplaces, including one in the master bedroom. Nothing says colonial cozy like fireplaces. Not to mention lots of fabulous period mouldings and trims. Another bonus is the nearly intact exterior, with a beautiful Federal door surround, 12 over 12 paned and 6 over 9 paned windows, and lovely Flemish Bond brickwork.
Walking down Elfreth’s Alley is like traveling back in time along a nice cobbled stone path. Because of the special nature of this block, there is a tightknit community. Living on this block is not just like living in a museum, it is living in a museum, the Elfreth’s Alley Association. It’s all about preservation. This is not the place where one modernizes anything. Not to worry, this house has modern comforts like indoor plumbing and appliances.
Another great aspect of this house is that it comes with a backyard patio. It’s not uncommon, in Philadelphia, for the row houses to be boxed in. Here, you can enjoy some private space and a small garden, if you wish.
We had a chance to ask the homeowner some questions about her house.
How long have you lived in your house? – 16 years
Elfreth’s Alley is a really unique place. What specifically attracted you to the row? – Having lived in NYC for years I could not believe the affordable cost for such a unique single family home in a great part of town.
What is one of your favorite memories in the house? – It will always be the fireplaces, there are 5 in the house and there’s nothing like reading or talking in front of a fire.
Because of the nature of living in a museum-like setting, with constant visitors, how has it been to always be on display? – It really never bothered me much, actually people usually compliment you or mention they think you’re lucky to live on the Alley.
What are some of the historic preservation guidelines you’ve had to observe during your residency? Has this been challenging? – The relationship between home owners and the Elfreth’s Alley Association has always been , as far as I know, “a gentlemen’s agreement” in respect to maintaining a respectability about the Alley’s heritage and home owner’s needs. The Association is great about planting and upkeep and the residents volunteer for Association clean-ups and events.
What have you enjoyed most about living on Elfreth’s Alley? – Definitely the neighbors I am close to, they are my family.
This home is no longer on the market. However, homes on Elfreth’s Alley do go on the market occasionally Check with local realtor listings for availability.