Philadelphia Travel Guide


30th Street Station
30th Street Station is the main railroad station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is the heart of Philadelphia's passenger rail network. The Chicago-based architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White designed the structure, originally known as Pennsylvania Station, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1934 by the former Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), which was headquartered in Philadelphia, to replace Broad Street Station when the latter became too small to handle Philadelphia's growing passenger-rail traffic. The PRR sought a location away from Center City Philadelphia, where Broad Street Station was located, which would allow room for a larger yard as well as multiple tracks and platforms. It found such a place on Market Street between 29th and 30th Streets, directly on the Schuylkill River, and built 30th Street Station there. It is the second-most active railway station in the United States.

Betsy Ross House
Betsy Ross is best known as the legendary maker of the first American flag, but her story is an inspirational one that goes well beyond her association with the flag. Betsy Ross was a courageous and spirited woman whose life was filled with hardships. She was shunned by her family and forbidden to worship as a Quaker for marrying a man of a different faith. She was widowed three times, and two of her seven daughters died as infants. Faced with these adversities, Betsy managed to prevail as an industrious businesswoman, running her own upholstery shop at a time when women were not given the same opportunities as men. On January 1, 1752, Elizabeth Griscom, familiarly called Betsy, was the eighth of seventeen children born into the Quaker family of Samuel and Rebecca Griscom. Samuel, a successful carpenter, moved his large family from their farmhouse in New Jersey to the growing city of Philadelphia when Betsy was three years old. They eventually settled into a large home on 4th and Arch Streets.

Philadelphia City Hall
Philadelphia City Hall is the seat of government for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At 167 m (548 ft), including statue, it is the world's tallest masonry building: the weight of the building is borne by stone walls 11 ft thick, rather than steel. The building was designed by Philadelphia architect John McArthur, and was constructed from 1871 until 1901 for a cost of $24 million. Originally designed to be the world's tallest building, by the time it was completed it was already surpassed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower. The building is topped by a 11 m (37 ft) bronze statue of William Penn, which weighs 27 tons. For much of its history, City Hall was the tallest building in Philadelphia, thanks to a "gentlemen's agreement". In 1987, it lost that distinction when One Liberty Place was completed. City Hall is a National Historic Landmark.

Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary is located at the corner of Fairmount Avenue and 22nd Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, five blocks northeast of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It opened in 1829. The penitentiary was originally based on the idea of the Pennsylvania System, which encouraged solitary confinement as a form of rehabilitation. It was opposed contemporaneously by the New York System, which held that prisoners should be forced to work together in silence, and could be subjected to physical punishment. (Sing Sing prison was an examplar of the New York system). Eastern State was viewed as a progressive reform in that it eliminated many of the excesses of physical punishment in colonial America. Despite this, it was widely believed (then and now) to have caused significant mental illness among its prisoners due to its solitary confinement. The system eventually collapsed due to overcrowding problems and the prison used a more conventional style of incarceration until it closed in 1970. The prison was one of the largest public-works projects of the early republic, and was a tourist destination in the 19th century. Notable visitors included Charles Dickens and Alexis de Tocqueville while notable inmates included Willie Sutton and Al Capone.Eastern State is currently open as an historic site.

Elfreth's Alley
Tucked among hip art galleries, funky coffeehouses and fashionable restaurants, many of the Alley's 33 houses were built prior to USA's birth. In that 300-plus-year, the Alley has been the home to thousands - from Franklin's colleagues to families of four, from immigrants to esquires - reflecting the diversity of Philadelphia itself.

Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is one of the largest municipal parks in the world, at over 9,100 acres (37 km²). This figure includes all parkland within the city limits, as all 65 city parks are considered part of Fairmount Park and overseen by the Fairmount Park Commission, but the park proper does occupy nearly half that area, at over 4,100 acres (17 km²) on both banks of the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek.

Gloria Dei National Historic Site
Built in 1700, it is the oldest church in the state.

Italian market
The Italian Market is an area of Philadelphia featuring many grocery shops, cafes, restaurants, cheese shops, butcher shops, etc. with an Italian influence. It is generally considered to extend along 9th Street from Fitzwater Street in the north to Wharton Street in the south.

JFK Plaza is a plaza located in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The design of LOVE Park turned out to perfect for skateboarding and the plaza became internationally famous as one of the best places to skate in the world until a 2000 skateboarding ban was enforced in 2002. The park is nicknamed LOVE Park because of Robert Indiana's LOVE sculpture.

One Liberty Place
The One Liberty Place Building is currently the tallest building in Philadelphia and the 16th tallest building in the United States. One Liberty Place is 61 floors or 945ft (288m) and is only two feet shorter than Key Tower in Cleveland, Ohio. Completed in 1987, One Liberty Place was locally famous for being the first building to break the gentlemen's agreement which was not to exceed the 548ft (167m) height of the William Penn statue on Philadelphia City Hall built in 1901. Since One Liberty Place's completion over seven other skyscrapers have been built exceeding the statue's height. On January 3, 2005 it was announced that another, the Comcast Center, will be completed by late 2007 at a height of 975 feet, ending One Liberty Place's reign as Philadelphia's tallest although it will be only 57 stories.

Penn's Landing
The area today known as Penn's Landing stretches along the Delaware River for about 10 blocks from Vine Street to South Street, and encompasses the spot where William Penn, Philadelphia's founder, first touched ground in his "greene country towne." After Penn's arrival, this area quickly became the center of Philly's maritime soul and the city's dominant commercial district. Today, however, Penn's Landing is a riverside park and the place where Philadelphians gather in the summer to hear music and on December 31 to usher in the New Year.

Philadelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo, located in Fairmount Park on the west bank of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, is the oldest zoo in the United States. Chartered by the state on March 21, 1859, its opening was delayed by the Civil War until July 1, 1874. The Philadelphia Zoo is one of the premier zoos in the world for breeding animals that often are difficult to breed in captivity. The zoo also works with many groups around the world to protect the natural habitates of the animals in their care.

Reading Terminal Market
It is an enclosed farmers' market found at 12th and Arch Streets in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Over 80 merchants offer fresh produce, meats, fish, groceries, flowers, baked goods, crafts, books, clothing, and specialty and ethnic foods. Every space in the market is rented out; three of the vendors are decendents from original market merchants. The market is open every day except Sunday.

Rittenhouse Square
Rittenhouse Square is one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn during the late 17th Century in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Originally called "Southwest Square", Rittenhouse Square is named after David Rittenhouse, a son of the first paper-maker in Philadelphia, William Rittenhouse. David Rittenhouse was a clockmaker and friend of the American Revolution. Today, the tree-filled park is also lined with trendy shops, fine restaurants, luxury apartments and hotels. Its green grasses and benches are major lunch-time destinations for workers in Philadelphia's Center City neighborhood.

SEPTA Museum
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is a regional quasi-public state agency that operates bus, subway and elevated rail, commuter rail, trolley (streetcar), and until recently trackless trolley service in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. The city transit system was formerly owned and operated by the Philadelphia Transportation Company (known as the PTC) until 1968, and before that the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company (the PRT). The region's suburban bus and trolley lines were operated by the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company (also called the Red Arrow Lines), the Schuylkill Valley Lines, and a handful of other smaller companies into the 1970s.

South Street
South Street is a place to see and be seen, shop for antiques, find bargains, have a lager and lunch at a local neighborhood pub lor one of the many South Street area restaurants or just stroll down the sidewalk and check out the people.


Atwater-Kent Municipal Museum
The Atwater-Kent Municipal Museum (also known as the Atwater Kent Philadelphia History Museum) was started in 1938 by A. Atwater Kent. The museum was originally the home of the Franklin Institute, founded by Samuel Merick. Kent (pioneering radio manufacturer), at the suggestion of John Wanamaker, bought the building to create a museum of the history of the city, saving the building from being dismantled and moved to Grosse Point by Henry Ford.

Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation is a museum situated in Merion Station, one of the suburbs of Philadelphia in the United States. The Museum displays works of several painters, including Paul Cézanne, George de Chirico, Paul Gauguin, El Greco, Francisco Goya, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Maurice Utrillo, Vincent Van Gogh.

Edgar Allan Poe House
Poe lived in Philadelphia for six years from 1838-1844, and this period was his most prolific. He was an editor and critic for two major magazines Burton's Gentlemen's Magazine and Graham's, and he published about 50 works (among them the classics "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Pit and the Pendulum", and "The Masque of the Red Death"). Poe, his wife Virginia, and his mother-in-law Maria rented several homes in Philadelphia, but only the last house has survived. That Spring Garden home (where the author lived in 1843-44) is today preserved by the National Park Service as a memorial to one of our most influential and fascinating American authors.

Fairmount Waterworks and its interpretive center
At the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center you and your family can learn about watersheds and have a ton of fun doing it. Fly a helicopter simulation from the Delaware Bay to the headwaters of the Schuylkill River. Or visit Pollutionopolis, Americas most contaminated and disgusting town, to see how a city can really mess up its water supply.

Fort Mifflin
Fort Mifflin is located in the southern portion of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, near the Philadelphia Airport. It is on the Delaware River and was originally constructed to protect the city from invasion. During the American Revolutionary War the fort was a centerpiece of the British conquest of Philadelphia.

Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is the national memorial to Benjamin Franklin, that serves to perpetuate his legacy; the museum contains many of Franklin's personal effects. On February 5, 1824, Samuel Vaughan Merrick and William H. Keating founded The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts. The original building is now the Atwater-Kent Municipal Museum. In 1933 the Institute opened the science museum that is now its main focus. The mission of The Franklin Institute Science Museum is to stimulate interest in science, to promote public understanding of science, and to strengthen science education. Exhibits on display cover several subjects such as science and industry, physics, astronomy and history. The Fels Planetarium and the Mandell Center are also located in the museum. The museum is highly popular among children.

Liberty Bell & Independence Hall
The Liberty Bell is an American bell of great historic significance, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Along with the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell is perhaps the most prominent symbol of American liberty, and probably the most prominent symbol associated with early American history and the battle for American independence and freedom.Its most famous ringing, on July 8, 1776, summoned citizens for the reading of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress. It previously had been rung to announce the opening of the First Continental Congress in 1774 and the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775.

Independence Hall, officially known as the Pennsylvania State House, is a historic building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Built between 1732 and 1753, it was designed in the Georgian style of architecture by Edmund Wooley and Alexander Hamilton. It was commissioned by the Pennsylvania colonial legislature and is located on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets. It was the principal meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783, the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, and of the drafting and signing of the United States Constitution in 1787. During the hot summer of 1787, the windows were kept shut so that others could not hear the discussions going on inside. Its belltower was the original home of the Liberty Bell.

Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (museum of medical and pathological oddities and curiosities)
The Mütter Museum is a museum of medical oddities and antique medical equipment/specimens located in the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. The museum is best known for its large collection of skulls and unique specimens, including a 5'-long human colon and a woman whose corpse was turned into soap by natural conditions in the ground in which she was buried. The Mütter Museum is run by the College and open to the public; entry is by donation.

National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center is a museum that opened in 2003 in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It focuses on the US Constitution and the role it has played in American life. The US Constitution was composed in Independence Hall, a historic building about a quarter mile from the museum.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, located at the west end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, was founded in 1876 in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition of the same year and is now among the largest and most important art museums in the United States. Originally the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, its inspiration was the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum) in London, which grew out of the Great Exhibition of 1851. The museum opened its doors to the public on May 10, 1877. Its current building, on which construction began in 1919, saw its first section completed in 1928. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is particularly known for its important collections of Pennsylvania German art, 18th century and 19th century furniture and silver by early Philadelphia and Pennsylvania craftsmen, and works by prominent Philadelphia artist Thomas Eakins. The museum houses the most important Eakins collection in the world.

Rodin Museum
Largest collection of Auguste Rodin's works outside France

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology is a small, but very high quality museum in West Philadelphia. The Museum has archeology and anthropology collections of great breadth and depth - from Mesoamerica to the Ancient Near East to China. The Museum's most important collection is arguably the treasures of Ur, which Penn coexcavated with the British Museum.


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