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, below, 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!)

I adore Society Hill‘s 19th century row houses. Some, like the one below, were made of two-tone brick for a checkerboard effect.


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, below, 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.

Just scratching the surface here…