text: seven walking tours through historic Philadelphia

Welcome to Society Hill

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A Walk Through History

Society Hill is neither an elevation nor the site and badge of social position. It was the Free Society of Traders to whom William Penn made liberal concessions of land and privileges that gave its name to Society Hill. In 1683 its assets included a sawmill, a glasshouse and a tannery. It fell upon hard times in the 20th century, but today it is the very model of urban renewal and urban amenity in a historic setting. Today Society Hill includes the land from the Delaware River to Washington Square and from Walnut Street to Lombard Street. The charm of Society Hill is that its homes are not museums, but are lived in by Philadelphians who delight in 18th and 19th century houses. It is a vital part of the city. In the 18th century Society Hill was removed from the avenues of commerce and given the residential character it retains today.

Society Hill