Society Hill is a popular and charming residential district lined with cobblestone streets, Federal and Georgian style homes, and historic landmarks from the 18th and 19th century. The area of Society Hill is defined The Delaware River to the east, 7th Street to the west, Walnut Street to the north, and South Street to the south. The area was originally named after the Society of Free Traders, a small joint-stock company founded by a group of English Quakers in 1681. The area built up with the addition of markets, civic buildings, and churches. However, as residents began to move west of the river, Society Hill began to deteriorate in the late nineteenth century. But in the 1950’s, Edmund Bacon and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission set in motion a revitalization project to restore the area and its buildings. Although many precious homes were demolished during this time, the Commission succeeded in bringing life back to Society Hill.
Some notable attractions in Society Hill are the Physick House, Magnolia and Rose Garden, Wharton House, St. Peter’s Church, Head House Square, Old Pine, Society Hill Synagogue, Powell House, and the Cadwalader and Shippen-Wistar Houses.
Society Hill is a wonderfully walkable area with plenty of hidden parks and monuments to see. Some of the oldest homes in the area will display placards with its age and history. There are plenty of top of the line restaurants and cafes, especially on Dock Street and 2nd Street, but you may find yourself at the City Tavern, an 18th Century restaurant where George Washington visited regularly.
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(all data current as of 3/20/2019)
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