"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

The following lessons have been made possible through a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. We hope they can be an introduction to how the residents of Elfreth's Alley evolved over three centuries on "our nation's oldest residential street."

18th century: 1765-1790

Explore of the lives of artists & artisans on the alley, and the impact of the African American community in early Philadelphia. 

19th century: 1865-1880

A look at a new generation of residents as immigrant families begin to get a foothold in the new America. 

20th century: 1950-1965

The alley becomes a focal point in the historic preservation discussion and the debate over building the Delaware Expressway.