The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
New and improved history near Independence Hall
New and Improved
History renews itself this fall at the reopened and 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 10,000 pieces of history.
Participate in the Philly story like never been through a variety of interactive features—even snap your own digital portrait for use in one of the galleries or online. Plus, see hundreds of priceless objects on display, including the wampum belt that the Lenni Lenape Indians gave to William Penn in 1682.
Don’t miss Experience Philadelphia, the world’s largest map of Philadelphia stretching across an entire gallery floor. In just a few steps, travel from South Philadelphia to Montgomery County and see the ordinary and extraordinary objects and images of city history.
New for 2012
City Stories: An Introduction to Philadelphia
This free orientation gallery invites guests to explore Philadelphia history in first person. Use your mobile device to add your own Philly descriptions via text message and see your descriptions displayed in a visual and dynamic “tag cloud” at the end of the exhibit.
Philadelphia Voices: Family Interrupted/Community Connected
This permanent Community History Gallery annual showcases three exhibits designed and installed by Philadelphia-based community groups, schools or non-profits. Right now explore “Family Interrupted,” an exhibit presented by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program on the significant impact of incarceration on the family and the community.
Face to Facebook
Evaluate how portraiture has changed from commissioned paintings of the 18th century to 21st century digital images used to identify ourselves in social media.
The Ordinary, the Extraordinary, and the Unknown: The Power of Objects
Discover treasured pieces of Philadelphia history in this permanent gallery. Objects are separated into four key turning points: the city’s founding in 1682, the American Revolution, Philadelphia’s post-war revival as the Capital City, and the transition from a craft based to an industrial economy through the 20th century.
Played in Philadelphia, Phillies Fandemonium: Meet Some of the Fans Who Give the City Life
Explore the culture of being a Phillies fan in 20th and the 21st century in an exhibit dedicated to this not-to-be-overlooked part of Philly history.
Made in Philadelphia, Craft Brewing: It’s a Beer Revolution (opening September 2012)
Celebrate Philadelphia’s reputation of as “workshop of the world” by taking a look at craft brewing in the city. This hands-on gallery will tell the story of the revival of craft brewing in the 20th, featuring well-known local breweries Dock Street, Philadelphia Brewing Company and Yards.
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.
Good Kids’ Stuff
Kids love traversing the Delaware Valley in seconds on the world’s largest map of Philadelphia and the region. “Walkabout” worksheets take children to different sites on the map and teach them about the history of the area, as well as basic map reading skills.
15 South 7th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
In the neighborhood
100 N. Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
- Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City
- The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia
- Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel
- The Independent Hotel Philadelphia
- Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District
- DoubleTree By Hilton Philadelphia Center City
- Rodeway Inn Center City
- Four Points by Sheraton Center City
- View more hotels
Museums & Attractions
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Mural Arts Program
- St. Stephen’s Protestant Episcopal Church
- National Constitution Center
- PSFS Building
- The African American Museum in Philadelphia
- Pig Iron Theatre Company
- Dream Garden
- Starman in the Ancient Garden
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining