Society Hill is an affluent neighborhood in Center City, Philadelphia. Society Hill has the largest concentration of original 18th- and early 19th-century architecture of any place in the United States. Much like Beacon Hill in Boston, Society Hill is noted as a charming district with cobblestone streets bordered by brick rowhouses in Federal and Georgian style. The district is named after the 18th century Free Society of Traders, which had its offices at Front Street on the hill above Dock Creek.
Society Hill History
The Society for which Society Hill is named is now defunct. The Free Society of Traders, a stock company to whom William Penn made liberal concessions of land and privileges, encountered virgin territory and woodlands stretching westward to the Schuylkill. They found some Dutch and Swedes living here as well. Though by 1683 the Society’s assets already included a sawmill, a glasshouse, and a tannery in Philadelphia, but two score years later they were bankrupt. The Assembly put the property of the Society in the hand of trustees in order to pay its debts.
Society Hill Boundaries
Society Hill’s boundaries for real estate purposes are Walnut Street to the North, South Street to the South, Front Street to the East and 7th Street to the West.