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The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent

New and improved history near Independence Hall

The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent

Experience the city's 300-plus year past at the Philadelphia History Museum. Credit: M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia



Experience the city’s past at the renovated Philadelphia History Museum. The historic 1826 building, located just around the corner from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, has been an exciting gateway into Philadelphia history for nearly 70 years.

Guests can enjoy handsomely designed galleries and encounter over 400 objects from the museum’s vast collection of over 100,000 pieces of history.

Explore the over 300 year history of the city through a variety of interactive features, and check out hundreds of priceless objects on display, including the wampum belt that the Lenni Lenape Indians gave to William Penn in 1682.

Plus, don’t miss Experience Philadelphia, the world’s largest map of the city, stretching across an entire gallery floor. In just a few steps, travel from South Philadelphia to Montgomery County and learn a bit of history along the way.


A. Atwater Kent, a wealthy inventor who manufactured early radios in Philadelphia, bought the building, the original home of the Franklin Institute, in 1938. He then gave it to the city to establish a museum dedicated to Philadelphia’s cultural and industrial history.

Kent aimed to celebrate the city’s past and inspire the future. John Haviland, who was also the architect of Eastern State Penitentiary, designed the 1826 Greek Revival building.

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