Powel House

Powel House

The old houses!!!  I love to walk the streets, just looking.

Philly has way more surviving 18th century buildings than New York does, many open to the public. Among my favorites: the Powel House on Third Street, where Philadelphia’s Revolutionary-era mayor entertained in an aqua dining room with orange silk curtains (and you thought the colonies were drab!)

Below right: This is George Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon in Virginia.  Legend has it he copied the wall color from his friend Samuel Powel’s Philadelphia dining room, because he liked it so much.0063t56x

I adore Society Hill‘s 19th century row houses, many made of two-tone brick for a checkerboard effect.

Society Hill brickwork

Society Hill brickwork

The whole city has more shutters than we’re used to seeing in NYC, and residents go all out with flowering window boxes in season.  Totally charming.

Philaelphia is studded with architectural curiosities, like the 1728 home of John Bartram, a botanist who had a thriving mail-order nursery. It’s an eccentric mix of Colonial and Greek Revival, built by Bartram himself on the Schuykill River, about 15 minutes south of today’s Center City.

Bartram's eccentric house

Bartram's quirky house

Just scratching the surface here…