148 Charles Street

The Literary Lights Were Always Bright at

Everyone wanted to be invited to 148 Charles Street, where Charles Dickens mixed the punch and taught the guests parlor games, John Greenleaf Whittier and Harriet Beecher Stowe vied in telling ghost stories, and Nathaniel Hawthorne paced the bedroom floor one unhappy night in the final miserable year of his life.Read more »

Ardor For The Arts


In 1763, when Franklin wrote a friend that “the Arts delight to travel westward,” Philadelphia was last becoming the indisputable art center of America, a distinction it retained through the first decades of the nineteenth century. Benjamin West had already opened a London studio to which aspiring colonials soon came in a long, steady parade for guidance from the great man.