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200 Block of Delancey Street

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c. 1750–early 19th century
  • 200 Block of Delancey Street
  • 200 Block of Delancey Street

The best-preserved block of Society Hill conveys the character of the Revolutionary city in the multiple choices of its housing, modesty of scale, and urban character. Alexander Barclay, comptroller of the port of Philadelphia, lived in the tiny house built c. 1750 by Samuel Rhoads at number 227. Its side garden in the Japanese style is one of the charms of its block. The houses at 232–248 Delancey demonstrate the variety of scale and styles from the mid-eighteenth to the early nineteenth century. Behind them is Drinker's Court, a cluster of tiny “trinity,” or three-room, houses built in the 1760s behind bricklayer John Drinker's house at 241 Pine Street, a typical house of the period. Many of the houses of the region were built and owned by those in the building trades, indicating that personal capital of labor was as important as the ground rent system in supporting the growth of the city. The small alleys running north and south from Delancey—Phillip and American streets—demonstrate the further subdivision of urban space that permitted ever greater density.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "200 Block of Delancey Street", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 67-67.

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