Photo courtesy of The Thomas Bond House Bed & Breakfast
The Thomas Bond House Bed & Breakfast
Among the original guests to pop in at Dr. Thomas Bond’s 1769 Georgian home on South Second Street was none other than Benjamin Franklin. Together the duo chartered Pennsylvania Hospital, the first public hospital in America, and Bond was an influential figure in Philadelphia throughout the Revolutionary War into the first turbulent decades following the founding of the country. Today, the four-story red-brick home within Independence National Historic Park has been meticulously restored, offering history buffs a taste of Philadelphia at the dawn of America. Original architectural details restored to their full 18th-century splendor include the modillion cornice at the roofline, the parlor’s Rumford fireplace, and the grand staircase connecting the third and fourth floors that was subsequently copied in other prominent buildings around town, including the still-standing City Tavern.
Each guestroom has been furnished with Federalist-style reproductions, with a few antiques sprinkled around. Ten rooms offer queen beds, with the two original bedrooms nearest the first floor adding small sitting areas with working fireplaces. All rooms have private baths and views of Welcome Park, the site of William Penn’s home within Independence Historic Park. A continental breakfast and a hosted evening wine reception are included in the rate.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Narrow cobblestone lanes and redbrick row homes define Old City, Philadelphia’s original neighborhood and the true birthplace of America. But it’s not all history here. When you’re ready to escape the 1770s, the area supports some 55 art and design galleries, hosting one of the best First Fridays in the country, and with live music. The setting may be historic, but the cuisine is progressive at Old City hot spot Zahev, which serves modern Israeli fare by chef Michael Solomonov, including a meze and ha’esh menu grilling rich lamb and succulent branzino. Another must-taste Old City eatery is chef Eli Kulp’s Fork, where classic American dishes are elevated by modern preparations—think fermented broccoli rabe, brioche infused with dried beef, homemade peach wine, and charred octopus with slices of lightly
Need to Know
Rooms: 12 rooms. From $130. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: Continental breakfast is served during the week, and a full breakfast on weekends and holidays. Spa and gym details: Neither is available at the hotel.
Who’s it for: History buffs craving a taste of Philadelphia at the dawn of America. Those who can carry their luggage up one, if not more, flight of stairs, as there is no elevator. Children 10 and older are welcome. Our favorite rooms: Keeping with the traditions of the late 18th century, the largest rooms are closest to the first level. The second-story room named for the good doctor himself is a treat, with a queen-size four-poster bed, Chippendale period furniture, and sitting area with fireplace. Go back in time: For the complete Revolutionary War–era experience, book a reservation at City Tavern, a faithful re-creation of the 18th-century Philadelphia watering hole that opened in 1773 and hosted the nation’s first Fourth of July celebration.