131 Elfreth's Alley
Architecturally, House 131 is a good example of the Alley’s middle period houses. While still in the Georgian style of the oldest remaining houses, with a sculpturally carved pediment above the front door, House 131 is more sophisticated than its earlier counterparts. Across the street, Houses 124 and 126 – built about forty years earlier – exhibit the pent eave (small projection between the first and second stories) and two-and-a-half story construction typical of mid-18th century houses. House 131 shows the movement toward the more linear Federal style, visible in its neighbors Houses 125 and 127, through its increased height and the beltcourses of brick that visually link the house with its twin to the east.
While the Lodor family owned House 131 until after the Civil War, they rented it to the usual sort of 18th and 19th century craftspeople – including Gilbert Gaw, a Windsor chairmaker who had previously lived in Houses 106 and 124, and Francois Tourtelot, a merchant and one of the many French residents of the Alley during the post-Revolutionary period.
At the turn of the next century, the Healy or Haly family lived at House 131 for more than thirty years. A stevedore at the nearby waterfront, Irish immigrant Michael Healy and his wife Julia raised three children in the house. They also consistently rented rooms to families of Irish descent.