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

Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia Architectural Walking Tours


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.

Wednesday, June 3 at 6:00 p.m.
Classicial Philadelphia
Meet at Pennsylvania Hospital Gate, Pine Street between 8th and 9th Sts. 

Discover the Philadelphia known as “The Athens of America” in the early 19th century. Hear about some of this country’s greatest neo-classical architects and learn why they turned to ancient Greece for inspiration in designing buildings for the new American democracy. Significant highlights include the Second Bank of the US and the Merchant’s Exchange, both designed by architect William Strickland.

Saturday, June 6 at 2:00 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.

Sunday, June 7 at 2:00 p.m.
Society Hill Stroll
Meet at Northeast Corner, 2nd & Spruce Sts.

Society Hill received its name from the “Free Society of Traders” who were granted a strip of land in this area by William Penn in 1683. Take a leisurely walk through this country’s largest, intact collection of original colonial and post-colonial residential architecture. Learn about this neighborhood’s mid 20th century renewal efforts and its contribution to establishing Philadelphia as a “livable” city.

Wednesday, June 10 at 6:00 p.m.
Around Washington Square 
Meet at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, center of Washington Square

Walk around one of William Penn’s original planned public parks. Learn how this square served as a burial ground for over 1,200 Revolutionary War soldiers, then as a potter’s field before receiving its present name in 1825. See The Athenaeum, the first Italian Renaissance building in the US, and learn how the Square became home to the publishing industry in the early 20th century. Today, many of the former office buildings are being transformed into residences as Washington Square serves as an important gateway to the nearby residential Society Hill neighborhood.

Saturday, June 13 at 2:00 p.m.
Old City Sacred Sites
Meet at entrance to Christ Church, North 2nd and Church Sts.

Through architecture, learn how religion affected 18th century society on this tour of the city’s oldest religious structures: from the simple design of the Arch Street Friends Meeting House built in 1804 to the exquisite Georgian-style Christ Church built 1727-1741.

Sunday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m.
Skyscrapers Old and New
Meet at exterior north portal, City Hall, N. Broad St. and JFK Blvd. 

Penn Center, one of the country’s most acclaimed examples of 20th century, post World War II urban renewal, is a lasting legacy of Edmund Bacon and the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. Learn how this world-famous city planner based this commercial development complex on William Penn’s vision that Market Street would be a commercial thoroughfare and see two generations of commercial architecture: Modern & Post-Modern.

Wednesday, June 17 at 6:00 p.m.
Avenue of the Arts
Meet in front of PA, 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.

Saturday, June 20 at 2:00 p.m. 
Up and Over the Ben Franklin Bridge
Meet in front of St. George's United Methodist Church, North 4th & New Sts.

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).

Sunday, June 21 at 2:00 p.m.
Media (Delaware County) 
Meet in front of Delaware County Court House, Front St. & Courthouse Square

Media was planned in the 1850s as the seat of Delaware County. Discover architecture dating from the Federal era, see lavish Victorian homes and enjoy the beautifully restored Beaux Arts/Art Deco Media Theater before experiencing the renaissance of its commercial district.

Wednesday, June 24 at 6:00 p.m. 
Victorian Philadelphia West of Broad Street
Meet at steps of the Bellevue, 200 S. Broad St

Take in the total experience of Philadelphia during the magnificent Gilded Age era. Begin at The Bellevue, opened in 1910 as Philadelphia’s premier hotel, the Bellevue Stratford. Learn about cultural, financial, commercial and civic institutions and private clubs, religious structures and the grand urban town houses and mansions in which wealthy Philadelphians lived during these opulent times.

Saturday, June 27 at 2:00 p.m.
Chestnut Hill
South Side, South parking lot of Chestnut Hill Academy, across from the tennis courts on Willow Grove Ave

Take a leisurely stroll through this bucolic “Garden City” neighborhood, a suburban setting within the city limits. Learn how the Pennsylvania Railroad extension to this area, spearheaded by Henry Howard Houston in the 1880s, created this style-conscious development and later, with his son-in-law, George Woodward, continued it into the1920s. Explore this haven of late Victorian, Arts & Crafts, English Cotswalds and Modern residences and see how it emerged as a desirable and complete neighborhood.

Sunday, June 28 at 2:00 p.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

Tickets are available for sale at the Indepedence Visitor Center. 

 





 

Hours

6:00 p.m.
Wednesdays
2:00 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays

Pricing

Classical Philadelphia: June 3 at 6:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $12.00
Children (Ages 10 and under ) Free

Spring Garden: June 6 at 2:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (Ages 10 and under) Free

Society Hill Stroll: Sunday, June 7 at 2:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (ages 10 and under ) Free

Around Washington Square: June 10, at

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (ages 10 and under) Free

Old City Sacred Sites: June 13 at 2:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Seniors $10.00
Children (ages 10 and under ) Free

Skyscrapers Old and New: June 14 at 2:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (Ages 10 and under ) Free

Avenue of the Arts: June 17 at 6:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (Ages 10 and under ) Free

Up and Over the Ben Franklin Bridge: June 20 at 2:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (Ages 10 and under ) Free

Media, Delaware County: June 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (Ages 10 and under ) Free

Victorian Philadelphia West of Broad Street: June 24 at 6:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (Ages 10 and under ) Free

Chestnut Hill: June 27 at 2:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (Ages 10 and under ) Free

Spruce Hill Victoriana: June 28 at 2:00 p.m.

Adults $15.00
Students $10.00
Children (Ages 10 and under ) Free

Live Chat