While I was working on my master's degree in urban history, I worked at the Elfreth's Alley Museum in Old City. In previous blogs, I have spoken about that excellent piece of history right in the city. However, one of the coolest parts of that street is how the buildings still function as they were intended to - to house a single family.
In an article this week, philly.com digs into just how difficult it is to preserve these pieces of our history. Take Upsala, a historical mansion that was the Continental Army's staging ground in the Battle of Germantown in 1777. It was badly burned in the 30s, nearly converted into a grocery store, until finally becoming a house museum... that apparently bottomed out around 10 visitors per year.
However, the failure of the museum has allowed for a new possibility - restoring its use as a house. Sold last year, the building will be upgraded for modern living. It's a fantastic repurposing and a trend worth emulating for those who hope to save our history.
Want your next house to have history? Want to tour houses with a historian? Reach out to me!
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