On your next trip to Philadelphia why not stay with one of the famous characters from the city’s early history? Dr. Thomas Bond was good friends with Ben Franklin, his partner in founding the first medical facility in the colonies, in 1751. He trained in Europe, chiefly in Paris, and contributed significantly to the field of medical science in early America. His house is in the heart of Philadelphia’s Old City, just a short walk from many of Philadelphia’s most iconic historic sites: Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the National Constitution Center, and the Betsy Ross House.
Built in 1769, the four-story house is historically significant as an example of classical revival Georgian-style architecture. The house served as a residence until 1810. And until it was made into a bed and breakfast in 1988, it served in a variety of capacities: for manufacturing stockings, as a leather tannery, a rag supplier, a customs broker, and a retail shop.
The parlor features a Rumford fireplace–high-tech heating at the time. The grand staircase, leading from the third floor to the garret, was copied by the nearby City Tavern. The “borrowed light window” in the garret, which allows light to get from an outside room to an inside room, is another fascinating architectural detail. The house has been carefully restored with an eye towards keeping its original details intact. So when you lock your door for the night it might be with the key used by Ben Franklin, when he stayed over after an especially late visit.
The staff is friendly and always ready with insights on where to go, what to do and how to get there. After breakfast, avail yourself of Philadelphia’s bike-share program. There is a docking station just outside the front door. So hop on and explore Philadelphia’s historical bounty.
Reserve early, the Thomas Bond House is popular, especially during big holidays and in high season. To find out more and to make a booking, go to; www.thomasbondhousebandb.com
Photography and story by Daniela Stallinger
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