Trinity House


Narrow tree-lined street in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia where many Trinity Houses are located. (Photo: Joe Strupek)

Trinity House: three floors, one room per floor—Father, Son and Holy Ghost. That’s how the design unique to Philadelphia got its name in the 1700s. Today Trinity Houses are in demand by investors and homeowners who rehab and update them with modern materials, appliances and luxuries.


Alfreth’s Alley, Philadelphia, where homes date back to the 1720s. (Photo: Norman Maddeaux)

In my short story “Trinity House,” Manny is a young construction worker with ambition and a strong work ethic. His respect for the craftsmanship of a bygone era puts him at odds with a young investor who hires him. The story begins with Manny pedaling his bike through a drug-infested neighborhood to work rehabbing a Trinity House. A late model BMW nearly runs him off the road and he rams the bottom of his work boot into the door. To find out what happens next read Trinity House.

Trinity House appears in the latest edition of Prime Number Magazine published by Press 53.



About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
This entry was posted in poetry, Poetry, Running, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Trinity House

  1. Canuck Carl says:

    It really would be incredible to work on such historic buildings. There would have so many generations of changes going on right up to the present day modernisations. I love how they got their names. The streets are so narrow because obviously there would be no cars for like the 1st 200 or so years. I really don’t know if there would be any homes in Canada that would go back to the early 1700’s like this. Absolutely AMAZING! 🙂


  2. Such a wonderful story, Jim! I love the way you interweave history, and craftsmanship and raise important questions about privilege and those who are displaced by gentrification. I’m glad the story ended as it did.


    • Jim Brennan says:

      Thank you, Carol. You feel a connection with craftsmen/women of yesteryear when working inside a Trinity House. The first one I worked on was near South Street in Philly with the brick floor basement that was the kitchen. You can’t find that kind of character in houses constructed today. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

      Liked by 1 person

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