Society Hill

Society Hill is a neighborhood in the Center City section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The neighborhood, loosely defined as bounded by Walnut, Lombard, Front and 8th Streets, contains the largest concentration of original 18th- and early 19th-century residential architecture of any place in the United States. Most houses in the district were constructed between 1870 and 1910. Society Hill is noted as a charming district with cobblestone streets bordered by brick row-houses in Federal and Georgian style. However this neighborhood wasn’t always the enchanting area that it is today.

In the 19th century, the city expanded westward and the area lost its appeal. Houses deteriorated, and by the 1940s, Society Hill had become a slum neighborhood, one of the worst in the city. In the 1950s, the city, state and federal governments began one of the first urban renewal programs aimed at the preservation of historic buildings. In 1971 the Society Hill Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Society Hill residents are assigned to schools in the School District of Philadelphia in the McCall Catchment. Residents are zoned to the General George A. McCall School, located in Society Hill, for grades Kindergarten through 8 and Furness High School for high school.

Society Hill houses the Old Pine Presbyterian Church which is the only remaining Colonial Presbyterian church and churchyard in Philadelphia. Badly damaged by British troops during the Revolution, it served as a hospital and then a stable. In the mid-19th century its exterior had a Greek Revival face-lift that included Corinthian columns. 

Want some nightlife in Society Hill? Head to Head House Square for a great place to have dinner, listen to live music, and grab a drink. The square is a reminder of the days when people went to central outdoor markets to buy food directly from farmers. It was first established as New Market in 1745. George Washington was among those who came here to buy butter, eggs, meat, fish, herbs, and vegetables. Today, every weekend from May through December, it is the site of a farmers' market, featuring about a dozen vendors on Saturday and 30 on Sunday.

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