Elfreth's Alley

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Elfreth's Alley

This alley is the oldest continuously occupied residential street in America, dating back to 1702. Much of Colonial Philadelphia resembled this area, with its cobblestone streets and narrow two- or three-story brick houses. These were modest row homes, most built for rent, and lived in by craftsmen, such as cabinetmakers, silversmiths, and pewterers, and their families. They also housed sea captains and others who made their living in the city's busy shipping industry. The earliest houses (two stories) have pent eaves; taller houses, built after the Revolution, show the influence of the Federal style. The Elfreth's Alley Museum includes two homes that have been restored by the Elfreth's Alley Association: No. 124, home of a Windsor chair maker, and No. 126, a Colonial dressmaker's home, with authentic furnishings and a Colonial kitchen. In early June residents celebrate Fete Day, when some of the 30 homes are open to the public for tours hosted by guides in Colonial garb. On the second Friday evening in December, residents again welcome visitors for a candlelight holiday tour. Both of these special events require advance tickets.

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