Located in the heart of the Italian Market neighborhood in Philly, the 800 block of 10th street provides a real sense of city history. If it weren’t for the mid-sized SUVs lining the street, one could just as easily image an early twentieth-century figure walking through one of the curved doorways that add such formal beauty to these townhouses.
Turn of the Century Expansion
In 1915, the year many of these homes were built, this area of South Philly was rapidly expanding. A vibrant Italian American community was opening restaurants and businesses along nearby 9th Street in the neighborhood that would later be called “Bella Vista” or “Beautiful View” in Italian.
Brick buildings, gleaming deep red in the summer light, set off the near jungle-levels of plant life that lines the street. In addition to the large trees that provide shade, many of the houses boast their own sidewalk gardens and, in one case, a habitat for turtles and fish.
Beauty in the Details
These buildings are loaded with details for the discerning eye. The house at 805 makes use of the rounded entryway with a door to match, complete with antique handle and doorknocker. Beautiful wrought-iron screens set off many first-floor windows and painted shutters offer pops of color. Heading toward 11th street, a large bay window at 813 emerges sculpturally from the second story.
Though it has a private, neighborhood feel, this block sits just across the street from one of the area’s fan favorites- Santucci’s, home of the original square slice. In fact, the food scene here can’t be beat. In the 70s and 80s, the area welcomed growing Mexican and Vietnamese populations, further adding to the multicultural feel of the neighborhood. Where else but the Italian Market Neighborhood could you find handmade cannolis, a killer mole sauce, and a steaming bowl of Pho all within a few minutes walk of historic Philly townhomes?