Philly is one of the most walkable cities in America, which means it's pretty easy to visit all of it's great buildings, murals, and public art by foot. We've compiled five of the best architectural walking tours of Philadelphia, from the Mural Arts program's Mural Mile to the Preservation Alliance's collection of nearly two dozen offerings.
1. Preservation Alliance
This historic preservation non-profit hosts nearly two dozen walking tours of Philly, all led by experienced volunteer guides. There’s the Littlest Streets East of Broad tour, which takes you down those picturesque streets so quintessential of Philly. Or, you can check out all of the mansions and buildings of the Gilded Age. With 20 tours to choose from, there’s something here for everyone.
Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. From July to August there are 6 p.m. tours available. $15 for adults.
2 .Philadelphia Center for Architecture + Design
Folks on this two-hour tour visit three eras of Philadelphia: Late Victorian/Post-War, Birth of the Skyscraper, and the Modern City. It’s a great way to see how Philly’s architectural scene has evolved since 1870 until today.
Saturdays from 1 to 3 p.m. $20 for adults.
3. Hidden City Philadelphia
Good show in Fishtown all around today. Here, historian Ken Milano talks about the Edward Corner rope and boat supplies building, the last remaining building tied to the neighborhood's maritime heritage - now protected by historic designation. Nice work to EKNA and everyone involved at Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Arts Festival too! #fishtown #pahistory #ghostsign
The folks behind Hidden City Philadelphia regularly host walking tours of relatively unknown but important places in the city. In the past, they’ve taken tours of South Broad Street, the Divine Lorraine, among countless others. Upcoming events include a walking tour of Camden.
Check the calendar for tour dates. Free.
4. Mural Arts
"Our House" by Odili Donald Odita Odita's mural for #opensourcephl, located at the Brandywine Workshop & Archives and The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, highlights the active role that citizens and organizations play in filling the institutional voids present in underserved neighborhoods. The weaving of color and form represents the fabric of institutions and residents whose joint involvement and commitment make Philadelphia a vibrant community. Odita presents the tension of contradiction and opportunity found in "calamity and potential". Photo by @steveweinik
Sometimes there’s more to a building than meets the eye—these walking tours with the Mural Arts program prove that. Experienced guides lead Mural Mile public tours of all of the artwork that adorn the walls around Philly. Or, hop on a trolley, train, or Segway tour when you’re tired of walking.
Check the calendar for tour dates. $22 per person.
5. Constitutional Walking Tour
Even if you've walked by all of the historical landmarks in Old City countless times, you’ll probably learn a thing or two during this 90-minute tour. It visits 20 sites, including the iconic Independence Hall to the Robert Venturi-designed Franklin Court. Want to go at your own pace? You can pop in some earphones and take an audio-guided tour instead.
Check the schedule for tour dates. $19 for adults, $12.50 for children.
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