Let's take a trip back in time. Specifically to talk aboutetymology. (It's the study of words and their development through history.)

The word "olde" is, in fact, not old at all. That errant "e" gets tacked on restaurant and pub signs, onmalt liquors, on convenience stores and ondry cleaners, often with the word "ye" preceding it. The practice of naming shops and other businesses as "Ye Olde" took offin the late 19th century to make things seem, well, old.

And yet, there's still debate over whether Philly's historic district is Olde or Old. At the Second Street stop on the Market-Frankford Line, some blue paint covers that extra "e," but the neighborhood's marketing and economic development arm, Old City District, insists on the proper spelling. This practice possibly dates back to 1792, when someone painted "Ye Olde Mint" on the Philadelphia Mint's first facility at Seventh and Filbert streets.

Even Wikipediarefers to "olde" as a"faux-archaic" neologism. What's olde is really new, it seems. Such is the case with these four homes, which ooze history but boast modern amenities, bringing together the best of both worlds in this historic 'hood.


136-38N. Second St.

This property dates back to at least 1916, and features originalexposed brick and exposed beams and other architectural details from when the building was a local distillery.With one bedroom and one bathroomon the market for $285,000, this condo is quiet with a private deck overlooking the building's landscaped courtyard.

Other amenities include an elevator in the building, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.

310 N. Lawrence St.

Located on a street that's historically known as "Captain's Row" for the ship captains that took up residency there nearly 200 years ago,this three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is filled with charm and dates back to 1792. Recently remodeled with designer fixtures, this spot still boasts historic character, from its original wide-plank wood floors, wood-burning fireplaces and spiral staircases.

Enjoy modern luxury in the kitchen, with sleek cabinets, stainless steel appliances including a double oven and a sparkling tiled backsplash. Currently listed for $459,000, don't pass up this retreat's easy access to Old City's thriving arts scene.

229 Chestnut St.

With soaring windows and an open-concept living room, this one-bedroom in the heart of Old City is nothing short of dramatic. Located in a historic four-unit building, this condo features high ceilings, wide-plank pine hardwood floors and modern features, including updatedappliances and sleek black cabinetry in the kitchen.

Listed for $269,900, this condo also includes a large custom closet and a convenientwasher and dryer in the unit.