Germantown Avenue is one of Philadelphia’s oldest cobblestone streets. The charming strip stretches across Northwest Philadelphia from Chestnut Hill to Mount Airy. Once a route where trolleys ran, the avenue features unique shops, bars, restaurants and historical attractions. Featured below are five locations anyone should look into if they find themselves walking up or down Germantown Avenue.
7136 Germantown Ave.
Earth—Bread + Brewery is a neighborhood bar and restaurant located on Germantown Avenue. They provide a “green” atmosphere while serving tempting treats baked in a wood-fired oven. The eco-friendly building includes recycled carpeting, second-hand tables and chairs, as well as compostable cups, lids and straws. The bar’s exterior boasts a huge, scenic mural entitled “Walking the Wissahickon,” by Brian Ames. In addition to a variety of wines, the brewery serves their own craft beers and even make their own soda. Earth—Bread + Brewery is a unique change of pace when looking for something to eat and drink, all while remaining kind to our Mother Earth.
7224 Germantown Ave.
Opened December 2013, Handcraft Workshop is a fabric boutique and sewing studio. The workshop carries a wide variety of fabrics and other sewing supplies, as well as offering hands-on classes to children and adults in machine sewing and needle crafting skills. Ranging from Newbies and Beginners, to Intermediates and Advanced, Handcraft Workshop is sure to have a class to match your skill set. As a former elementary school teacher, Heather, the owner, said it has been a dream of hers to combine her love for sewing with her love for teaching. This is a great place to meet new people, learn something new and to experience the gratification of creating something yourself.
The Concord Schoolhouse/ Upper Germantown Burying Ground
6309 Germantown Ave.
This historic location served as one of Germantown’s public schools in the 1840s, but later became a private school. It was originally established as an English only school, suggesting the desire of German residents to have their children assimilate with the English language. If history is your thing, the Concord School House is open the second Saturday of each month for guided tours. The cemetery, created in 1692, sits adjacent to the schoolhouse and houses the final resting place for 52 known, as well as five unknown, soldiers of the Revolutionary War, plus eleven from the War of 1812 and one soldier from the Mexican-American War.
6300 Germantown Avenue
Built in 1768, this site was once an Underground Railroad station, and now serves as a museum. Harriet Tubman and other enslaved Africans were sheltered, hidden and fed here. The museum has various slavery artifacts on display and offers visitors history lectures and other educational materials on the slavery era.
Upsala at Cliveden
6401 Germantown Avenue
Built in 1798, Upsala is a historic mansion that was the site of large concentration of American forces during the Battle of Germantown. It was used as a staging ground for the attack on British forces at Cliveden, which lies directly across the street. The beautiful architecture of the building includes an impressive “floating” staircase and grand wooden mantels elegantly carved out of marble. Currently, the mansion functions as an administrative office, while the grounds are open for rentals for all occasions.
– Text and photos by La’Rene Cassells and Matt Snider.