So Tell Us, Philadelphia: What’s It Like to Live in a Trinity House?

Trinity, bandbox, or Father, Son & Holy Ghost – what's it like to live in one?

A trinity home at 1635 Rodman Street in Philadelphia |

A trinity home at 1635 Rodman Street in Philadelphia |

“What’s it like to live in a trinity house? Looking at a trinity, but it seems a little weird to me. Is it something you just get used to?”

– Redditor garlicaioli.

Garlic, we saw that you’ve received some responses on your Reddit trinity thread already, but we thought we might help you reach a larger crowd of trinity denizens, both current and former, who could give you some insight into the experience of living in a trinity home.

So – any Philly Mag readers care to elaborate? Is living in a quirky rowhome with deep roots in Philadelphia as cool as it soundsOr is it a short-lived novelty we should just get over?

The thing is, we here at Property are in love with the idea of a trinity.  I for one would love to live in one, as mentioned last December in a round-up post of our favorite Philly trinities of 2014. Now, for those of you passively nodding your head in the hopes of not getting called on to define what a trinity is, no need to worry, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s the low-down: A “bandbox” home or trinity, is a  three-story rowhome, typically on the narrow end, that was originally designed to serve as the living quarters for servants or working-class folks between the 18th and 19th century. Each floor contains one room, a design detail that earned them the nickname “Father, Son & Holy Ghost” houses by locals back in the day. Speaking of which…they’re unique to Philadelphia! Authentic homes will have kept this one room per floor layout, unless it was expanded or significantly remodeled.

Personally, my inner wannabe minimalist welcomes the thought of inhabiting a tiny home that requires me to get creative and be more zero-waste conscious. More than that, though, it’s an opportunity to live in a historical piece of Philly. How cool is that?

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