This story was first published in 2017, and has recently been updated with the newest information.
The City of Brotherly Love is steeped in history, with more than a dozen specific areas certified historic. These areas within the city, from Rittenhouse-Fitler Square to Society Hill, achieve the designation for their collection of historic resources that are linked either geographically or thematically, according to the Philadelphia Historical Commission. If a property is located in a historic district, any proposed changes to it are subject to review by the commission.
That said, it's not easy earning this designation, which may explain why there are only 15 historic districts* in the city, and we've mapped all of them here. One of them, 420 Row in Spruce Hill, became the 15th historic district in early January 2017, seven years after the last designation.
It's just one interesting way to learn about Philadelphia, through the lens of these small districts, which include everything from a midcentury modern development in Northeast Philadelphia—the first racially integrated in the city—to an enclave of Tudor homes in East Falls.
We've included the boundaries of each district, and if you want to learn more about each one, the website link will take you to the official nomination document.
*Editor's note: The districts are listed in order of the year they were designated, beginning with 2017. We did not include the historic district titled "Historic Street Paving" since the sites are scattered throughout the city.
- Philadelphia Historic Districts [Philadelphia Historical Commission]