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122 Elfreth's Alley

Philadelphia, PA 19106 

A 3D scan of the original 1728 baker's brick oven and hearth in 122 Elfreth's Alley.A 3D scan of the original 1728 baker's brick oven and hearth in 122 Elfreth's Alley.



Elfreth's Alley is one of the oldest continuously inhabited residential streets in the United States. Located in Old City, Philadelphia, Elfreth's Alley dates back to 1703 and is an exceptional collection of early American structures built between 1720 and 1836. It is named after Jeremiah Elfreth, an 18th-century blacksmith and property owner. Among the alley's residents were tradesmen and their families, including shipwrights, silver and pewter smiths, glassblowers, and furniture builders. The Georgian and Federal-style houses and cobblestone pavement of the alley were common in Philadelphia during this time. The block was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places on June 26, 1956 and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960.


Elfreth's Alley is today the product of cycles of urban renewal, deterioration, and historic preservation efforts. The alley is a tourist attraction and a rare surviving example of 18th-century working-class housing stock. The site stands in sharp contrast to the more frequently preserved grand mansion houses of Philadelphia's Society Hill neighborhood.

A Postcard of the Hearthroom at 122 Elfreth's Alley.
A Postcard of the Hearthroom at 122 Elfreth's Alley.


House Museum uses photogrammetric imaging technology to generate a 3D model of the home's original 18th century brick oven and fireplace. This nondestructive visualization method—at the intersection of optics and projective geometry—has been used here to capture and archive the surface of one of America's oldest residential spaces for future generations. The brick oven was a place that formerly displayed historic portraits, polished silverware, and decorative plates, but it has now moved from being the background to the center of our digital portrait. Cooking scars on the hearth and carbon seared deep into the red masonry can be traced back to the home's original owner, William Maugridge—a noted friend of Benjamin Franklin. This history of use, reminds us of our simple intrinsic human needs: food, warmth, and shelter.

House Museum acknowledges other distant 18th century residents, Ellen and William Danahe, through the annotation of a virtual tour preview. As we continue to work in, with, and through historic landmarks, we step towards the future of preservation tours, where historic landmarks are explored, within the virtual domain, for a globally accessible online audience.







House Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia, PA, USA.


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"In my Father's house there are many dwelling places." John 14:2