clock menu more-arrow no yes
via Flickr/Norman Maddeaux

The most beautiful interiors in Philly, mapped

View as Map

Last year we asked Curbed Philly readers to nominate buildings with the most beautiful interiors, posing the question, “What interior spaces make you say, ‘Wow’?”

The readers’ picks that rolled in did not disappoint, from museums to churches to hotels. One thing we learned? Beautiful interior design can even make a trip to the post office a little less terrible.

So behold: The 12 most beautiful interiors in Philadelphia, as chosen by Curbed Philly readers, listed in order from West to East. This is by no means a complete list, so please keep the conversation going by sharing your favorite interiors in the comments section!

Note: This list was first published last summer, and has been updated with the most recent information. .

Read More

1. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Copy Link
Horticultural and Lansdowne Drs
Philadelphia, PA

The reader who nominated the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden says this one is more “off the beaten path,” but we say that’s a good thing. The traditional-style Japanese house was designed by midcentury modern architect Junzo Yoshimura in 1953 and built in Japan. Today, the hidden gem welcomes thousands of visitors during the Cherry Blossom Festival and hosts plenty of events, like tea time, in the Shofuso Japanese House.

Photo by Wes Niarhos

2. 30th Street Station

Copy Link
2955 Market St
Philadelphia, PA

Traveling through 30th Street Station isn’t always an enjoyable experience, so thank goodness for its Art Deco interiors that always make people stop and stare. 30th Street Station is considered one of the last remaining grand stations in the country and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also, you might want to get a good look at it now—the 30th Street Station District Master Plan has some big changes in store to improve the station, both inside and out.

Photo by Wes Niarhos

3. The Barnes Foundation

Copy Link
2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA

When news broke that the world-class Barnes Foundation would be moving from its original location to a new museum in Philadelphia, the response was mixed. Could architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien ever replicate the awe-inspiring and world-class art gallery of Dr. Albert C. Barnes in a new build? Indeed, today the Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is considered one of the best examples of new architecture in Philly, and its interiors play a big role in that. In addition to the 12,000-square-feet of gallery space, the museum features a wealth of public spaces, both inside and out.

Photo by Tom Crane and Benjamin Riley for the Barnes Foundation

4. Free Library of Philadelphia

Copy Link
1901 Vine St
Philadelphia, PA

Another building on the Parkway with stunning interiors is the Free Library of Philadelphia-Parkway Central branch. As we’ve noted before, noted architect Julian Abele was the lead designer on the Beaux-Arts-style library. Today, the Main Reading Room is currently undergoing renovations and upgrades.

Courtesy of Shutterstock

5. St Rita’s Catholic Church

Copy Link
S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA

Of the two churches on this list, St. Rita’s Catholic Church is considered a National Shrine. The church, which has served South Philly since the early 1900s, was designed by architect George Lovatt and its colorful and stately interiors continue to wow to this day.

6. Philadelphia City Hall

Copy Link
1 Penn Sq
Philadelphia, PA

As the largest city building in the U.S., Philadelphia’s City Hall is an incredible work of architecture that boasts more than 700 rooms. The atrium, with its winding staircase is impressive alone, but there are plenty of other rooms worth exploring, too, including the Mayor’s Reception Room that’s decked out with fanciful crown molding and chandeliers.

via Flickr/Garen Meguerian

7. Masonic Temple

Copy Link
1 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA

The Masonic Temple on North Broad Street right next to City Hall boasts one of the most jaw-dropping interiors in the city. The building was designed by noted architect John T. Windrim in 1873, but artist George Herzog is responsible for decorating the interiors, which took almost two decades to complete.

via Flickr/Norman Maddeaux

8. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Copy Link
128 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA

Considered one of the best examples of Victorian Gothic architecture in the U.S., the Historic Landmark Building at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is a peek into architect Frank Furness’ genius of a mind. The interiors, which house PAFA’s American art collection, were recently restored as part of the academy’s $25 million campaign, bringing many architectural details like the gold-leaf wall accents back to life.

Photo by Melissa Romero

9. Loews Philadelphia Hotel

Copy Link
1200 Market St
Philadelphia, PA

The historic PSFS building, now the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, is often touted for being one of the first International-style skyscrapers in the nation. But its Mad Men-esque interiors are just as notable. Fun fact: The clocks in the lobby and above the elevators were designed by Cartier.

A post shared by Kiki Decoursey (@kikidecoursey) on

10. US Post Office

Copy Link
900 Market St
Philadelphia, PA

Some incredible Art Deco interiors hide behind the walls of the former US Post Office at 9th and Market, also known as the William Penn annex. The post office first opened in 1937 and was designed by Harry Sternfeld of the Ballinger Company. As one Curbed reader put it, “Every time I’m in there I imagine the 40-plus Art Deco windows all open and in use way back when.”

A post shared by francis frederick (@mfkellerman) on

11. The Curtis

Copy Link
601 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA

The Curtis, originally the home of the Curtis Publishing Company Building, recently finished up a $25 million renovation, bringing new retail, office space, and apartments to the mix. But its interiors have been wowing folks long before renovations started. The incredible atrium is definitely a showstopper, as is the Dream Garden, a mosaic featuring 100,000 pieces of favrile glass. Plus, there’s a bonus to the stunning space: You can do yoga at The Curtis in the summer. The free session has finished up this year, but be on the look out for next summer’s offerings.

A post shared by DesignBlendz (@designblendz) on

12. Our Lady of Hope Catholic Parish (Church of the Holy Child)

Copy Link
5200 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19141

The other church on this list that also boasts stunning interiors also happens to have been designed by architect George Lovatt. Church of the Holy Child, today known as Our Lady of Hope Catholic Parish, was built in 1910 and has had some ups and downs over the years. But its interiors continue to stun, despite there being a need for restoration. One Curbed reader wrote that its interiors are “very similar to the famous Durham Cathedral in England.” Another reader noted that the “interior is breathtaking with soaring arches and a grand dome, not to mention the stained glass.” The artist responsible for the stained glass is D'Ascenzo Studios.

Loading comments...

1. Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

Horticultural and Lansdowne Drs, Philadelphia, PA
Photo by Wes Niarhos

The reader who nominated the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden says this one is more “off the beaten path,” but we say that’s a good thing. The traditional-style Japanese house was designed by midcentury modern architect Junzo Yoshimura in 1953 and built in Japan. Today, the hidden gem welcomes thousands of visitors during the Cherry Blossom Festival and hosts plenty of events, like tea time, in the Shofuso Japanese House.

Horticultural and Lansdowne Drs
Philadelphia, PA

2. 30th Street Station

2955 Market St, Philadelphia, PA
Photo by Wes Niarhos

Traveling through 30th Street Station isn’t always an enjoyable experience, so thank goodness for its Art Deco interiors that always make people stop and stare. 30th Street Station is considered one of the last remaining grand stations in the country and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Also, you might want to get a good look at it now—the 30th Street Station District Master Plan has some big changes in store to improve the station, both inside and out.

2955 Market St
Philadelphia, PA

3. The Barnes Foundation

2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA
Photo by Tom Crane and Benjamin Riley for the Barnes Foundation

When news broke that the world-class Barnes Foundation would be moving from its original location to a new museum in Philadelphia, the response was mixed. Could architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien ever replicate the awe-inspiring and world-class art gallery of Dr. Albert C. Barnes in a new build? Indeed, today the Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is considered one of the best examples of new architecture in Philly, and its interiors play a big role in that. In addition to the 12,000-square-feet of gallery space, the museum features a wealth of public spaces, both inside and out.

2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy
Philadelphia, PA

4. Free Library of Philadelphia

1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA
Courtesy of Shutterstock

Another building on the Parkway with stunning interiors is the Free Library of Philadelphia-Parkway Central branch. As we’ve noted before, noted architect Julian Abele was the lead designer on the Beaux-Arts-style library. Today, the Main Reading Room is currently undergoing renovations and upgrades.

1901 Vine St
Philadelphia, PA

5. St Rita’s Catholic Church

S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA

Of the two churches on this list, St. Rita’s Catholic Church is considered a National Shrine. The church, which has served South Philly since the early 1900s, was designed by architect George Lovatt and its colorful and stately interiors continue to wow to this day.

S Broad St
Philadelphia, PA

6. Philadelphia City Hall

1 Penn Sq, Philadelphia, PA
via Flickr/Garen Meguerian

As the largest city building in the U.S., Philadelphia’s City Hall is an incredible work of architecture that boasts more than 700 rooms. The atrium, with its winding staircase is impressive alone, but there are plenty of other rooms worth exploring, too, including the Mayor’s Reception Room that’s decked out with fanciful crown molding and chandeliers.

1 Penn Sq
Philadelphia, PA

7. Masonic Temple

1 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA
via Flickr/Norman Maddeaux

The Masonic Temple on North Broad Street right next to City Hall boasts one of the most jaw-dropping interiors in the city. The building was designed by noted architect John T. Windrim in 1873, but artist George Herzog is responsible for decorating the interiors, which took almost two decades to complete.

1 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA

8. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

128 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA
Photo by Melissa Romero

Considered one of the best examples of Victorian Gothic architecture in the U.S., the Historic Landmark Building at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is a peek into architect Frank Furness’ genius of a mind. The interiors, which house PAFA’s American art collection, were recently restored as part of the academy’s $25 million campaign, bringing many architectural details like the gold-leaf wall accents back to life.

128 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA

9. Loews Philadelphia Hotel

1200 Market St, Philadelphia, PA

The historic PSFS building, now the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, is often touted for being one of the first International-style skyscrapers in the nation. But its Mad Men-esque interiors are just as notable. Fun fact: The clocks in the lobby and above the elevators were designed by Cartier.

1200 Market St
Philadelphia, PA

10. US Post Office

900 Market St, Philadelphia, PA

Some incredible Art Deco interiors hide behind the walls of the former US Post Office at 9th and Market, also known as the William Penn annex. The post office first opened in 1937 and was designed by Harry Sternfeld of the Ballinger Company. As one Curbed reader put it, “Every time I’m in there I imagine the 40-plus Art Deco windows all open and in use way back when.”

900 Market St
Philadelphia, PA

11. The Curtis

601 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA

The Curtis, originally the home of the Curtis Publishing Company Building, recently finished up a $25 million renovation, bringing new retail, office space, and apartments to the mix. But its interiors have been wowing folks long before renovations started. The incredible atrium is definitely a showstopper, as is the Dream Garden, a mosaic featuring 100,000 pieces of favrile glass. Plus, there’s a bonus to the stunning space: You can do yoga at The Curtis in the summer. The free session has finished up this year, but be on the look out for next summer’s offerings.

601 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA

12. Our Lady of Hope Catholic Parish (Church of the Holy Child)

5200 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19141

The other church on this list that also boasts stunning interiors also happens to have been designed by architect George Lovatt. Church of the Holy Child, today known as Our Lady of Hope Catholic Parish, was built in 1910 and has had some ups and downs over the years. But its interiors continue to stun, despite there being a need for restoration. One Curbed reader wrote that its interiors are “very similar to the famous Durham Cathedral in England.” Another reader noted that the “interior is breathtaking with soaring arches and a grand dome, not to mention the stained glass.” The artist responsible for the stained glass is D'Ascenzo Studios.

5200 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19141