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Design Philadelphia 2016: 10 must-see sites and events

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Design Philadelphia 2016 has officially kicked off here, and the list of events for the next 10 days is staggering. From October 6 to October 16, there are numerous architecture tours of both new and old buildings, countless panel discussions on design, as well as light installations all around the city. And fittingly, the theme this year is Home.

So how do you decide what to see and do? Use our list below as a starting point: We've picked 10 must-see sites and events to do during the 10-day-long design extravaganza, some of which require reservations. They're listed in order of date. Check out the full list of events on Design Philadelphia's website.

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1. The Beacon

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111 S 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Throughout DesignPhiladelphia, an interactive architectural sculpture will be on display at the Sidney & Ethel Lubert Plaza on Jefferson Hospital's campus. Here's how it works: You answer a few questions about health on an app or this website, and the Beacon will light up and change shape in real-time. Throughout the week there will be a spotlight on the Rail Park, as a way to encourage promoting health and active lifestyles in Philly via design.

2. South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center

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1700 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Take a tour of the first library to open under the 21st Century Libraries Initiative. The joint venture between Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the city combines a health center, library, and playground in one place.

October 6 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

3. George Washington's Tent

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320 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

When it opens in April 2017, one of the main attractions of the Museum of the American Revolution will be the display of George Washington's tent from the war. At this panel discussion, experts involved in the restoration of the tent will talk about the challenges they encountered trying to restore the tent that the country's first president lived in 240 years ago.

October 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.

4. Pennovation Center

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3401 Grays Ferry Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Penn's new innovation hub doesn't officially open until the end of this month, but you can take a tour of the repurposed space at this open house with a team of designers involved with the project.

A photo posted by Scott Spitzer (@scottspitzer) on

5. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

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Horticultural and Lansdowne Drs
Philadelphia, PA 19131
(215) 878-5097
Visit Website

This two-day event titled "Modernism, Japanese Carpentry, and the Garden" will delve deep into preserving the architecture of Junzo Yoshimura. A variety of workshops will include a Japanese carpentry demonstration, a look into an actual preservation project currently underway, and a Hinoki roof demonstration.

October 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and October 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

6. Park Towne Place

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2200 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(267) 773-6373
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Local designers have joined forces to transform four apartments in Park Towne Place into design interior installations. The units—three of which are penthouses—were designed by Christina Henck of Henck Designs, Dane Decor, and Woke Souls. The work of InLiquid artists Bobbie Adams, Linda Dubin Garfield, Erica Harney, Sandi Neiman Lovitz, Melissa Haims, Donna Quinn, and Constance Culpepper is also on display.

7. The Colored Girls Museum

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4613 Newhall St
Philadelphia, PA 19144

The Colored Girls Museum, housed in an actual home in Germantown, will host a talk and tour that investigates how a home can be designed to be a healing place. Given the museum's current exhibit, "A Good Night's Sleep," there will be a focus on the restorative effects of sleeping.

8. Pearl Street Alley Gallery

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1201 Pearl Street
Philadelphia, PA

Pearl Street's summer mural by Aissulu Kadyrzhanova was a hit, but during this Design Philadelphia event you can join in on the creation of another pavement mural. The one-day block party will include the mural painting, live music, and interactive art displays by local artists.

October 8 from 1 to 5 p.m.

9. Perry World House

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3803 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Another one of Penn's latest architectural feats is open for tours during Design Philadelphia. The Perry World House is a mix of old and new, designed by New York firm 1100 Architect. The $17.8 million limestone building mimics the Gothic Revival style of the original structure designed by architect Samuel Sloane.

October 13 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

10. Horace Trumbauer Walking Tour

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140 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 563-6500
Visit Website

Architect Horace Trumbauer may be best known for his extravagant mansions of the Guilded Age, but he left his mark on many Philadelphia buildings, too. This walking tour will guide you to many of his buildings, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as home residences in Rittenhouse Square. The starting point is at the Union League of Philadelphia. Wear your walking shoes!

Saturday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to noon

1. The Beacon

111 S 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Throughout DesignPhiladelphia, an interactive architectural sculpture will be on display at the Sidney & Ethel Lubert Plaza on Jefferson Hospital's campus. Here's how it works: You answer a few questions about health on an app or this website, and the Beacon will light up and change shape in real-time. Throughout the week there will be a spotlight on the Rail Park, as a way to encourage promoting health and active lifestyles in Philly via design.

111 S 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

2. South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center

1700 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Take a tour of the first library to open under the 21st Century Libraries Initiative. The joint venture between Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the city combines a health center, library, and playground in one place.

October 6 from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

1700 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19145

3. George Washington's Tent

320 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

When it opens in April 2017, one of the main attractions of the Museum of the American Revolution will be the display of George Washington's tent from the war. At this panel discussion, experts involved in the restoration of the tent will talk about the challenges they encountered trying to restore the tent that the country's first president lived in 240 years ago.

October 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.

320 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

4. Pennovation Center

3401 Grays Ferry Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19146

Penn's new innovation hub doesn't officially open until the end of this month, but you can take a tour of the repurposed space at this open house with a team of designers involved with the project.

A photo posted by Scott Spitzer (@scottspitzer) on

3401 Grays Ferry Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19146

5. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Horticultural and Lansdowne Drs, Philadelphia, PA 19131

This two-day event titled "Modernism, Japanese Carpentry, and the Garden" will delve deep into preserving the architecture of Junzo Yoshimura. A variety of workshops will include a Japanese carpentry demonstration, a look into an actual preservation project currently underway, and a Hinoki roof demonstration.

October 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and October 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Horticultural and Lansdowne Drs
Philadelphia, PA 19131

6. Park Towne Place

2200 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130

Local designers have joined forces to transform four apartments in Park Towne Place into design interior installations. The units—three of which are penthouses—were designed by Christina Henck of Henck Designs, Dane Decor, and Woke Souls. The work of InLiquid artists Bobbie Adams, Linda Dubin Garfield, Erica Harney, Sandi Neiman Lovitz, Melissa Haims, Donna Quinn, and Constance Culpepper is also on display.

2200 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA 19130

7. The Colored Girls Museum

4613 Newhall St, Philadelphia, PA 19144

The Colored Girls Museum, housed in an actual home in Germantown, will host a talk and tour that investigates how a home can be designed to be a healing place. Given the museum's current exhibit, "A Good Night's Sleep," there will be a focus on the restorative effects of sleeping.

4613 Newhall St
Philadelphia, PA 19144

8. Pearl Street Alley Gallery

1201 Pearl Street, Philadelphia, PA

Pearl Street's summer mural by Aissulu Kadyrzhanova was a hit, but during this Design Philadelphia event you can join in on the creation of another pavement mural. The one-day block party will include the mural painting, live music, and interactive art displays by local artists.

October 8 from 1 to 5 p.m.

1201 Pearl Street
Philadelphia, PA

9. Perry World House

3803 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Another one of Penn's latest architectural feats is open for tours during Design Philadelphia. The Perry World House is a mix of old and new, designed by New York firm 1100 Architect. The $17.8 million limestone building mimics the Gothic Revival style of the original structure designed by architect Samuel Sloane.

October 13 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

3803 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

10. Horace Trumbauer Walking Tour

140 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Architect Horace Trumbauer may be best known for his extravagant mansions of the Guilded Age, but he left his mark on many Philadelphia buildings, too. This walking tour will guide you to many of his buildings, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art as well as home residences in Rittenhouse Square. The starting point is at the Union League of Philadelphia. Wear your walking shoes!

Saturday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to noon

140 S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19102