“The Nation’s Oldest Residential Street”
Elfreth’s Alley. What could be more American?! The phrase itself conjures up images of Red, White, and Blue.
Located just one block away from the Liberty Bell, walking along this beloved street, one can almost sense the hope and passion and excitement of the founding fathers flooding out from behind the doors as the structures sit, a testament to time and endurance. I know my grandiose is a tad over the top but I just get so excited by these little tidbits of history, these pockets of the past! We just completed the Interior Restoration of one of these structures and I must say, knowing that our plasters are helping to save and preserve a structure from the 1720’s makes me quite giddy. It always amazes me how a structure can bring such joy and excitement to our lives. The structure originally served as a tavern along the alleyway and I like to imagine Franklin and Adams, and perhaps Jefferson sitting around a table and chatting about independence, over a couple of pints.
If ever visiting Philadelphia, this alley is a must see. Built in the Georgian and Federal styles, these structures are even more intriguing because they all served as craftsmen and tradesmen houses. Most preservation throughout Philadelphia has focused on the stunning mansions centered around the Society Hill neighborhood but the preservation of this alley gives us insight into the character of the unique trades-class at the beginnings of a new America, what many believe to be the backbone of the “true” American ideal.
Here is the link to the Alley’s website, enjoy!