Photo by A. Burolla for PHLCVB
Photo by A. Burolla for PHLCVB

Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia Architectural Walking Tour

Explore the City of Neighborhoods with the Preservation Alliance guided walking tours. Our talented volunteers will make sure you see and hear the past, present, and future of the Philadelphia region as expressed through the city's unique and fascinating architecture.

October 4 @ 10 a.m. Bankers Row: Architecture and Finance in Philadelphia
Meet at 2nd Street at Welcome Park
In the early years of the new Republic, Philadelphia was the nation’s financial capital, home to the first stock exchange (1790), the Bank of the United States, the US Mint, the first securities exchange, the first commodities exchange, and other early banking and insurance institutions. The epicenter of this activity was Chestnut Street in Old City, where important early institutions were housed in architectural treasures, ranging from Greek Revival “temples” to later brick and limestone buildings such as The Bourse Building and the US Customs House.

October 4 @ 10 a.m. Spruce Hill Victoriana
Meet in front of University City Arts League, 4226 Spruce St.

Walk tree-lined streets graced with homes that are crowned with Italianate towers and Queen Anne Revival gables. Hear how public transportation encouraged development of this West Philadelphia neighborhood as a streetcar suburb.

October 5 @ 2 p.m. Ben Franklin's Footsteps
Meet at entrance to Franklin Court, 312-22 Market St.

Celebrate the 300th anniversary of this most famous “adopted” Philadelphian’s birth by following in his footsteps through colonial Philadelphia, beginning at the site of his home and print shop, Franklin Court, creatively commemorated by Venturi and Rauch with John Milner Associates in 1976. Explore the other significant sites of the birthplace of our nation and learn how American architecture, too, was born here. 

October 11 @ 10 a.m. Glided Age Philadelphia
Meet at steps of the Bellevue, 200 S. Broad St.

Experience Philadelphia in the Gilded Age when wealthy industrialists turned to architecture to express money and power. See the opulent Bellevue Stratford Hotel, now a mixed-use office building and luxury hotel; the Ritz Carlton Hotel, originally the Girard Trust Bank; and the acclaimed PSFS Building, now the Loews Hotel. Learn how all three have been architecturally maintained and transformed into new uses.

October 12 @ 2 p.m. Spring Garden 
Meet in front of Jack's Firehouse, 2130 Fairmount Ave.

Stroll through this early city suburb, developed in the late 19th century, that was home to merchants, workers and even prisoners. Enjoy a diversity of exuberant late Victorian homes and view the world-renowned Eastern State Penitentiary, built in the 1820s and studied by penal experts from Asia and Europe at that time.

October 18 @ 10 a.m. Ben Franklin Parkway 
Meet at Fairmount Park Welcome Center, 16th & JFK Blvd
This grand boulevard, named after Philadelphia’s most famous citizen, is Philadelphia’s early 20th century contribution to this nation’s City Beautiful Movement and connects the downtown to Fairmount Park, fulfilling William Penn’s vision of a “greene countrie towne.” 

October 18 @ 2 p.m.  Rittenhouse Square East
Meet at pool, center of Rittenhouse Square

Philadelphia’s most fashionable address was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Enjoy today’s ambiance and compare the grand homes designed for the robber barons to the understated, elegant residences on Delancey Street.

October 19 @ 2 p.m. Avenue of the Arts
Meet in front of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 128 N. Broad St.

Although William Penn envisioned a grand civic boulevard for Broad Street, he would be dazzled by today’s “Avenue of the Arts” with its rich assortment of building styles and functions. Marvel at the ornate Frank Furness-designed Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, celebrating Victorian eclecticism at its best. Gaze upward to the dramatic glass canopy of the Kimmel Center, designed by Rafael Vinoly, and in between see grand late Victorian and Beaux Arts commercial buildings. See how Penn’s late 17th century vision lives on.

October 25 @ 10 a.m. Up and Over the Ben Franklin 
Meet in front of St. George's United Methodist Church,  N. 4th & New Sts. $15 admission includes return trip to Camden on PATCO
You’ve crossed it by car or viewed it from afar; now experience this magnificent bridge from a whole new perspective! Walk from Philadelphia to Camden with our guide to learn about the history and construction of what was once the longest suspension bridge in the world. Look down on the mighty Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Get acquainted with the past, present and future of waterfront development on both sides of the river.  At the end of the tour, walk through the Rutgers-Camden campus for a return trip to Center City on the PATCO Hi-Speedline (included in price).

October 25 @ 2 p.m. Historic North Central Delaware Waterfront
Meet at 2nd & Market Sts. along benches next to Christ Church

Walk along the city’s original Delaware waterfront from Market to Spring Garden Streets to hear about “the good, the bad and the ugly” along this storied route. This tour provides a wistful and sometimes amusing look at what remains of what used to be one of the most important areas of the city. Learn how Delaware Avenue was transformed from a craggy footpath to the broad Columbus Boulevard that is there today. Both historic and contemporary issues of land use, maritime activity, transportation, urban planning, manufacturing, urban archeology, and historic preservation will be discussed.

October 26 @ Sunday 2 p.m. Jewish Immigrant
Meet in front of Society Hill Synagogue, 418 Spruce St. 

Relive the Philadelphia experience of Eastern European Jews who settled along South Street in the late 19th century. Explore their humble synagogues and homes and learn about their thriving marketplaces that became prominent businesses. 

Tickets are available for sale at the Independence Visitor Center. 


10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
October: Saturdays
2:00 p.m.
October: Sundays



Adults $10.00
Students $8.00
Children (Ages 10 and under ) Free

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