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History in Philadelphia

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  • Eastern State Penitentiary

    Radical 19th century prison designed to create social change

    The looming exterior of Eastern State Penitentiary

    Eastern State Penitentiary set the standard for penal reform, with its soaring, castle-like Gothic architecture and its founders’ Quaker-inspired belief that solitary confinement could reform criminals.

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  • Eastern State Penitentiary Tour

    See Al Capone’s prison cell

    The looming exterior of Eastern State Penitentiary

    Philadelphia’s massive prison features several dramatic vistas in the prison’s cathedral-like cellblocks.

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  • Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

    Victorian mansion of the upper-middle and upper class

    Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

    The simplicity of Philadelphia’s Quaker background was no match for the excess of the Victorian era.

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  • Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

    The house where Poe wrote and published some of his greatest tales

    Edgar Allan Poe House

    Poe (1809-1849), one of America’s most original writers, lived in this red brick home with his wife, Virginia, and his mother-in-law, Maria Clemm, for about a year.

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  • Elfreth’s Alley

    The nation’s oldest continuously inhabited street

    Elfreth's Alley in Philadelphia

    Butchers. Bakers. Candlestick-makers. Named for blacksmith and property-owner Jeremiah Elfreth, Elfreth’s Alley was home to the 18th century artisans and trades-people who were the backbone of colonial Philadelphia.

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  • Erdman Hall Dormitory (Higher Education)

    Louis I. Kahn (1914)

    A recent restoration by Bryn Mawr College has returned the distinctive slate and concrete structure to its original condition.

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  • Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center

    The nation’s first municipal water treatment center

    Fairmount Water Works

    The Fairmount Water Works, one of Philadelphia’s architectural icons, now is an exciting combination of environmental education, architectural history and cultural heritage.

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  • Fireman’s Hall

    The history of firefighting in an old firehouse

    Stained glass window at Fireman's Hall

    Nestled in the narrow streets of Philadelphia’s historic district, Fireman’s Hall is dedicated to the art and science of firefighting through the last three centuries.

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  • Fort Mifflin

    The fort that withstood the greatest bombardment of the American Revolution

    Fort Mifflin

    The fort that withstood the greatest bombardment of the American Revolution

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  • Franklin’s Print Shop

    Benjamin Franklin’s 18th century printing shop

    Benjamin Franklin’s 18th century printing shop.

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  • Germantown White House
    (Deshler-Morris House)

    George Washington’s White House in Germantown

    Deshler-Morris House

    George Washington’s White House in Germantown

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  • Graeme Park

    Colonial Home of provincial governor Sir William Keith

    Graeme Park

    Built in 1722, the manor originally belonged to Sir William Keith, William Penn’s provincial governor in his new colony.

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  • Grumblethorpe

    John Wister’s 1740’s Germantown summer home and orchard

    Grumblethorpe

    John Wister practically invented the American dream.

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  • Harriton House

    Home of Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congresses

    Perched amidst 16 acres of parklands, Harriton House quietly holds a place in America’s history.

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  • High Hollow

    George Howe (1886-1955)

    High Hollow is typical of the many beautiful country homes Howe designed in the early part of his career.

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  • Historic Fallsington

    A 300 year-old Quaker village

    A cabin at Historic Fallsington

    A 300 year-old Quaker village

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  • Historic Houses of Chadds Ford

    Pre-Revolutionary War homes on the National Register of Historic Places

    Pre-Revolutionary War homes on the National Register of Historic Places

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  • Historic New Hope

    Artistic village nestled beside the Delaware River

    New Hope’s history — it was here that Washington crossed the Delaware during the American Revolution — blends seamlessly with its progressive modernity.

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  • Historic RittenhouseTown

    The site of the first paper mill in British North America

    Historic RittenhouseTown, the birthplace of paper in North America, is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.

    The birthplace of paper in North America, Historic RittenhouseTown is now a preserved village on idyllic Lincoln Drive in beautiful Fairmount Park.

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  • Hope Lodge Mather Mill

    Georgian mansion in colonial and colonial revival decoration

    Georgian mansion in colonial and colonial revival decoration

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  • Hopewell Furnace
    National Historic Site

    An early American “Iron Plantation” — a forerunner of today’s iron and steel industries

    Hopewell Furnace

    Forging weapons and ammunition for the American Revolution

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  • Independence After Hours

    A sneak peek at Philadelphia’s history after hours

    Prepare yourself for a V.I.P. night…Colonial style! Enjoy a delicious, three-course meal at historic City Tavern, before heading out on an evening of adventure.

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  • Independence Hall

    Birthplace of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

    Independence Hall

    They risked everything — “their lives, their fortune and their sacred honor.” During the blistering summer of 1776, 56 courageous men gathered at the Pennsylvania State House and defied the King of England. Eleven years later, representatives from 12 states gathered to shape the U.S. Constitution, finally creating one unified nation.

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  • Independence National Historical Park

    The birthplace of American democracy

    The Liberty Bell Philadelphia

    Known as the birthplace of American democracy, Historic Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park (INHP) is located on the site of many of the seminal events that carried the nation through its founding as a global leader of democratic ideals.

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  • Independence Seaport Museum

    An interactive museum exploring Philadelphia’s maritime heritage

    Sailing on the river outside the Independence Seaport Museum.

    With historic vessels to board, an underwater ROV to maneuver and a mock cannon to fire, Philadelphia’s maritime museum conveys what the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers have meant to the city over the years.

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  • Independence Visitor Center

    Start at the Visitor Center

    Independence Visitor Center

    The Independence Visitor Center is the perfect place to begin your visit to the Philadelphia region.

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  • Juneteenth Festival

    An annual all-day festival celebrating the end of slavery

    Germantown is an apt place to celebrate the end of slavery.

    Celebrate the end of slavery with free exhibitions, performances, vendors, discussions, family-friendly events and activities in Germantown.

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  • Lemon Hill

    Founding father Robert Morris’ hilltop estate

    Lemon Hill is one of Fairmount Park’s most enduring attractions, an open-to-the-public Federal-style architectural beauty built in 1800.

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  • Margaret Esherick House (Private Residence)

    Louis I. Kahn (1960)

    An outstanding example of a modest building transformed by the use of natural light.

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  • Masonic Temple

    A showcase of grand, almost mythical, architecture and design

    The Masonic Temple

    The Temple is one of the more magnificent buildings in the city from the outside, its Norman cathedral-like exterior rising wondrously across the street from City Hall.

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