Society Hill: The Great Deceiver, Part II

  • October 21, 2018
  • 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Meet in front of Powel House, 244 S. 3rd Street
  • 11


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Meet in front of Powel House, 244 S. 3rd Street.

No neighborhood in 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!

Society Hill has so much compelling material that we’ve split the tour into two parts. This one will explore the neighborhood beginning around 1900 when it was home to many small factories and workshops, along with Jewish immigrants and a a poor and working class African-American community. We’ll delve into its role as the birthplace of Philadelphia’s historic preservation movement and as the site of an ambitious urban renewal scheme starting in the 1950s. The tour will begin with a visit inside Powel House, which is perhaps Philadelphia’s most deceptive house museum, possessing a history that mirrors the neighborhood’s to a remarkable degree.

You’ll never look at Society Hill the same way again!

Questions, concerns, conundrums? Contact Hidden City project director Pete Woodall at 267-259-7112 or

Mickey Herr lived in many places until her heart settled in Philadelphia. She has led the development and communications efforts for several significant non-profit cultural institutions in Philadelphia. Current interests involve elevating the hidden-histories of women. She is at work on a novel, and gives tours for Hidden City Philadelphia, both of which are allowing her to research incredible untold stories of women. She believes in ghosts, synchronicity, and taking chances. Read her writing on Philadelphia, history and geneology at

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