Philadelphia Alley, Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina is one of America’s oldest metropolitan hubs. The city’s cobbled streets were originally laid before cars began to rule the pavement and roads were expanded to accommodate them. Some of these original narrow roads still exist today and are accessible only by foot. Located between Queen Street and Cumberland Street, “Philadelphia Alley” is one such original passageway. It was originally laid in 1776 when it was known as “Cow’s Alley” and provided a back entrance to tenant buildings behind the estate of Francis Kinloch. Kinloch later expanded the alley and renamed it “Kinloch’s Court.” After a fire ravaged this section of Charleston in 1810, the city of Philadelphia donated money to rebuild, and the alley was named yet again, to honor the city of brotherly love. Many locals refer to the path as “Dueller’s Alley” because it was once a popular spot for gentlemen to partake in pistol dueling. Through its many names, Philadelphia Alley has provided a shady escape from the southern heat of downtown Charleston.