No neighborhood is Philadelphia has as complex and contradictory a history as Society Hill. Once it was home to Philadelphia's aristocracy, and today it features dozens of million dollar houses. Ah, but so much happened in the 150 years in between! It was once a working class neighborhood known as the Bloody 5th Ward, home to African Americans, and Irish and Jewish immigrants. It was the birthplace of Philadelphia’s historic preservation movement and the site of remarkably successful urban renewal scheme. Explore the process of how neighborhoods change and learn to read the urban landscape for signs of the past… You’ll never look at Society Hill the same way again!
Tour guide Helen Gassmann grew up in the little town of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, but she fell in love with Philadelphia while attending Temple University. She recently received her Master's degree in Public History from Villanova University.