The earliest history museums had little actual history to draw on, and instead padded exhibits with wildly speculative displays about how dinosaurs would be elected to Congress by the year 2000. See how far we’ve come with today’s Groupon to historical Elfreth’s Alley Museum. Choose between the following options:
- For $5, you get two tickets (up to a $10 value).
- For $9, you get four tickets (up to a $20 value).<p>
Colloquially deemed the nation’s oldest residential street, Elfreth’s Alley preserves the cobblestone paving and colonial ambiance it boasted back in 1702. Thirty-two breathtakingly preserved buildings line the charming avenue, reviving history with their restored façades and fastidiously laminated lawns. A guided tour takes guests through the house-by-house story of the area, a tale that roars to life in the 1720s and marches through the annals of history to the 1830s. The Elfreth’s Alley Museum catalogs even more narrative history, breathing life into the trials and tribulations of past residents as they lived through the Industrial Revolution or the disastrous decline of no-pants fashion. Far from a stuffy outdoor museum, the street still functions as a vibrant neighborhood with residents still living in the majority of houses, and regular events line the sidewalks with local artists, samples from local breweries, or holiday decorations.
Elfreth's Alley Museum
Visitors to Elfreth's Alley Museum walk the same floors that two dressmakers once did in the 1790s. Today, the museum space’s restored rooms fill two of Elfreth's Alley's 32 historic homes; many of the others are still occupied by families. Staffers relate these houses' history from their construction in 1755 to the roles they’ve since played in a locale known for its connection to the arts and industry. During regular tours, guides share insight into why alleys and side streets were built, how middle-class people lived and worked in the 18th century, and why alleys were never known as roadlets. Visitors can take in exhibits including Fashioning Philadelphia, which recounts the lives of the area’s dressmakers, shoemakers, and tailors through the centuries, and The Irish and Elfreth's Alley in 1900, which tells the story of immigrant family life during the 19th and 20th centuries.