Boarding Houses in Philadelphia

This website provides a brief look into the demographics of Philadelphia boarding houses and their role in the city's history. The website attempts to paint a picture of the daily life of a boarding house and offers various examples, including ones from the late 18th century, as well as modern-day examples that most resemble a traditional boarding house. Particular focus was given to boarding house use during the Philadelphia Centennial and by students of University of Pennsylvania throughout the University's history.

Boarding House on the Southwest corner of Front Street and Washington Avenue (1002-04 South Front Street). Taken July 21, 1916.
Sign reads: "Restaurant and Boarding House Meals 1015-20." The significance of "1015-20" is unknown.
Photograph Courtesy of Philadelphia City Archives.












What is a Boarding House?


Early Boarding Houses


The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition


Student Use of Boarding Houses


The Philadelphia Boarding House Today




Research into Philadelphia boarding houses was undertaken at several historical resource and archival centers and libraries in the city, as recorded in the bibliography. Several online resources were explored as well and are also cited in the bibliography.


Website by Ashley C. Aiken

University of Pennsylvania

HSPV 600: Documentation

Professor Jeffrey A. Cohen

Fall 2005