Rent This Quirky, Adorable Philadelphia Trinity House


IT WORKED BEFORE, SO I’M TRYING IT AGAIN. I rented my townhouse in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, last month through this blog when six real estate brokers and Craigslist couldn’t do it. Now another of my rental properties is becoming available as of Oct. 1, 2009: a whole, albeit small, 1840s “trinity” house (3 floors – 1 room on each – plus basement and garden) in the South Kensington area of Philly, a few blocks from the trendiest of trendy neighborhoods, Northern Liberties, and not far from Fishtown.

The house is diminutive, like many old Philadelphia houses – about 200 square feet per floor, joined by narrow twisting stairs. (People with vertigo or bad knees need not apply.) It works for a single individual, a loving couple at most.


It gets great light, has a large-for-Philly backyard, original doors and proportions throughout. It’s totally charming, and the space feels good to be in. For an aficionado of old houses and vintage lifestyles, it’s a chance to live like a working-class family of the mid-19th century, but with more amenities (heat, indoor plumbing, electricity, etc.)


Kensington was once called “Little England” for the number of English immigrants who worked in the neighborhood’s behemoth textile and carpet factories, many of which have been converted to living lofts or artists’ studios.


The house is on N. Palethorp between Jefferson and Oxford, a nearly traffic-free alley around the corner from the magnificent St. Michael church. It’s actually the rear half of two back-to-back trinities under one roof (they’re entirely separate, each with its own entrance). It was renovated (re-wired, new kitchen, new paint job) in 2007. Here’s how the layout stacks up:

  • Ground floor: kitchen/dining. Opens to garden.
  • 2nd floor: bedroom/bathroom with pedestal sink, claw-foot tub
  • 3rd (top) floor: open loft-like space. Could be a living room, studio, or large bedroom (with the smaller room on the floor below used as a living/sitting room).
  • Basement: washer/dryer, storage

The rent is $850/month, plus utilities (gas for heat, hot water, and cooking, and electricity).

You were thinking of moving to Philly anyway, weren’t you? Email me at for more info or pics, with a few details about your situation and a phone number.

6 thoughts on “Rent This Quirky, Adorable Philadelphia Trinity House

  1. If I were moving to Philly instead of Highland, you might have me.

    I’m moving into a 1800s 2-bedroom farmhouse (original farmhouse on family orchard). 2nd floor ceilings are only about 6 feet tall.

    Going to be nice!

  2. This reminds me of a house I lived in when I was little–very tall and narrow. There was more than one room per floor, but they were teeny tiny. Hope you find the right renter for it!

  3. My husband and I are moving to Phildelphia! Your house looks absolutely darling. Have you found a renter yet?
    -Linz and Tedd

Got something to say? Please say it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s