7.4 out of 10

Society Hill

Ranked 12th best neighborhood in Philadelphia
39.944013810605 -75.1489700669613
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Safe & Sound
  • Public Transport
  • Clean & Green
  • Nightlife
Not great for
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
  • Medical Facilities
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Feb 27, 2013

"Old architecture and charm, with a high price tag."

Society Hill earns its name – this expensive neighborhood bordering Old City is modern day “high society.” If you are looking for charm, you’ve found it. Old brick row houses, cobblestone streets and tastefully maintained homes and blocks are the crux of this sought-after area.

Although Society Hill is known for its 18th and 19th-century historical architecture, a lot of modern high-rises and lofts have recently cropped up. However the original architecture is maintained surrounding these buildings, including the old cobblestone streets; these streets are aesthetically pleasing, but not so great on car and bike tires. The area is clean and in a prime location – it is mere steps from the water at Penn’s Landing, which features Festival Pier, the RiverRink, and the Moshulu, an old sea vessel that has been docked and turned into a restaurant. There are also many unique shops and eateries, like the eclectic Ritz Movie Theater, known for showing indie and foreign films, or the hole-in-the-wall Headhouse, a hidden gem with excellent sushi and a wide craft beer selection. Travel just a few blocks, and you will stumble upon the historical district in Old City.

Due to the close proximity to the historical district in Old City, there are many tourists that come through the area to take in its charm. This is also not a place for students or young professionals due to the high rent and sale prices. Many of the residents are older professionals, high-income families and retirees. Families are keen on raising children here since it is very safe, and there are a number of daycares and an elementary school in the area; however, the nearest public high school (Furness High School) is in South Philadelphia.
Pros
  • Charming
  • Clean
  • historical
  • great location
  • Near everything
Cons
  • Cobblestone streets
  • Expensive
  • No parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Feb 10, 2013

"Oh, to be on the hill of society."

Society Hill was named for the Free Society of Traders whose offices resided on a hill on Front Street in the 18th century.The neighborhood seems to remain stuck in the 18th- or 19th-century with its cobblestone streets and the architecture being that of a Federal and Georgian style. The group for which Society Hill was named may be long gone however, the name has become more synonymous with high society.

Many of the homes are historically significant to the neighborhood and are only sold to those who promise to restore and preserve the designs. The area also includes modern homes which blend into the historical nature of the neighborhood. Condominium high-rises bring you back to the reality of the 21st-century.

There are plenty of things to do and see in Society Hill. Notable sites are Independence Mall, the Merchants' Exchange and the Betsy Ross House. It's nice to just take a carriage ride through the neighborhood and take in the history. Or maybe go see a show in the historic David Garrick Hall at the Society Hill Playhouse.

The School District of Philadelphia zones children to two schools, one of which is inside Society Hill. There are two private schools in the vicinity. Society Hill also has a number of day-cares and preschools for smaller children.

There are a few medical facilities in Society Hill. One of the city' best veterinarians for pet needs is stationed here.

In Society Hill the traffic can be very annoying. Due to the horrendous nature of some of the streets it makes getting around nerve-racking. The streets are regularly repaved, but because of all the traffic and constant erosion, the repaving doesn't last long. Public transportation is close by with a couple of bus routes and the Market-Frankford Line.

Society Hill is a lovely neighborhood with an old- and new- city feel that can put you into a trance. The neighbors are cordial, the architecture is divine and the history is rich. A perfect place to be.
Pros
  • Clean
  • historical
Cons
  • Some streets constantly need to be repaved
  • Expensive
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Oct 13, 2011

"Society Hill - High Society at its Best"

One of the most historic areas in the country is located in Society Hill. Overlooking the Delaware River, Society Hill was transformed by the mid-60s urban renewal initiatives to the sophisticated environs it is today. Attorneys, professors, real estate moguls, business owners and a number of Philadelphia’s “names” call the area home. Old world charm abounds with streets of cobblestone and row houses of brick. In recent years, several high-rise condos have sprung up along the borders.

Society Hill while bordering the river remains a close-knit residential area. It is filled with growing “Type A” families of two-career parents and kids have been cared by nannies since a very early age. There are several well-known private schools.

Towards South Street, there are plenty of restaurants and food stores. For a leisurely weekend, there is always a theatre production on South Street or in Old City.

At 6th and Spruce Street, there is the oldest land continuously owned by African-Americans in the name of Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church. The landmark building for the Ladies Home Journal is nearby on Walnut at 7th Street. And, the National Constitution Center is located at 7th and Market. All are open to the public for tours.
Pros
  • Clean
  • great location
  • historical
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No parking
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Oct 10, 2011

"Life on the Hill can be fun (and expensive)"

Society Hill is a pricey neighborhood located in Center City, Philadelphia. It is bound by Walnut Street to the north, Front Street to the east, Lombard Street to the south and 7th Street to the west.
The neighborhood is made up of mostly white, upper class professionals who enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life. The charming 18th and 19th century brick architecture makes Society Hill have a small town charm but the Society Hill Towers, two luxury high rise apartment buildings, remind you that you’re still in the city.
Society Hill is one of the safer neighborhoods in Philadelphia. It is also impeccably clean and offers plenty of shopping and dining opportunities. There are also numerous historic landmarks nearby.
There isn’t a lot of parking available in Society Hill, so it’s recommended that you walk or bike. The area is close together, so you’ll have no problem getting from place to place without a vehicle.
If you enjoy a cozy neighborhood that also features the fun of the city, Society Hill is perfect for you. Just be sure to prepare yourself for the high rent prices and limited parking availability or else you’ll have a huge conniption fit.
Pros
  • Near everything
  • Shopping
  • Clean
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No parking
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Oct 06, 2011

"Charming view of history"

It is kind of hard to believe that at one point Society Hill used to be a slum, but it’s true. Once upon a time it was falling apart and filled with abandoned lots and buildings but sometime in the 1950s the city decided to clean it up and attempt to preserve the historic architecture. Now it’s one of the best neighborhoods in the area. It’s also one of the most expensive.

Some of the historic homes in Society Hill have been opened for tourist visits such as the Physick House which was the home of the “father of surgery” Dr. Philip Syng Physick. Also located in this district are two of Philadelphia’s oldest churches, Old Pine Presbyterian and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

In addition to the row homes that align the cobblestone streets there are the Society Hill Towers which is a set of three condominiums. The towers were developed in the early 1960s and are within walking distance of Penn’s Landing and many Old City attractions. Despite not being as visually stunning as some of the row homes these condos are still as expensive.

Society Hill is a stunning neighborhood to walk through and knowing that it hasn’t always looked as it does today gives you a little bit of hope for other parts of the city that are undergoing their own renovations.
Pros
  • historical
  • great location
Cons
  • Expensive
  • parking is minimal
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

Best Streets in Society Hill

1

South St

3.5/5
"South Street , Philadelphia, PA"
39.9416016002386 -75.1490366025162
2

South 4th St

3.5/5
"A Break from the Tourish Hustle and Bustle"
39.9443498207881 -75.1485790471664
3

South 2nd St

3/5
"Nice street for living or visiting"
39.9438617136685 -75.1450697376368

Unranked Streets in Society Hill

Lombard St

2.5/5
"Its really busy down here so close to South St."
39.9425878279033 -75.148631041467
"Origin of the Grid"
39.9436660498005 -75.1434721581728

Spruce St

4/5
"Visit the Korean War memorial"
39.944893852271 -75.1480775091873