OverviewRittenhouse Square is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the Northeast, let alone in Philadelphia. This patrician, elegant area is named after one of the original squares planned by William Penn and his surveyor Thomas Holme, which today is a lush and inviting park loved by lunching business types and families alike. A huge part of Rittenhouse Square’s appeal is that it is convenient to so much of Center City, but it definitely has its own vibe, one that has only become hotter as time goes on and the Square becomes an even bigger destination for its tony hotels, posh spas, and thriving nightlife.
The Square drew its name from David Rittenhouse, a clockmaker who lived during the American Revolution. Rittenhouse Square’s prominence as a residential neighborhood started in the mid-1800s. Philadelphia was expanding quickly, and plots were bought by several wealthy families who constituted major names in Philly society at the time. John Wanamaker of the eponymous department store chain was one, Philadelphia Railroad president Alexander Cassatt was another. The first townhome on the Square was built by former Congressman James Harper. The extant structure is home today to the exclusive Rittenhouse Club.
Homes in Rittenhouse Square tend to be high-rise residences and luxe apartments with every possible amenity. There are still some of the grand Victorian homes that graced the street facing the square at the end of the nineteenth century, but these have mostly given way to sky-scraping towers that offer more bang for the buck, and more accommodation for the hoards of well-heeled Philadelphians who want to live in the area.
Today, Rittenhouse Square offers abundant dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The Mutter Museum of medical oddities always makes for a fascinating day trip. Or catch a show at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. During the holidays, the lighting of the Square’s Christmas Tree is an event that can’t be missed.
Real Estate Statistics
- Ave Price Per Sq. Ft: $315
- Average Price $692,155
- Highest Price: $7,150,000
- Lowest Price $600,000
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