The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
National center for architectural history
This 1840s brownstone by architect John Notman, a National Historical Landmark, boasts one of Philadelphia’s finest 19th century interiors, and a research collection dedicated to architecture and interior design. Tours of the restored reading rooms are available by appointment, as is research in the collections of books, architectural drawings, photographs, and manuscripts representing the work of more than 2,000 American architects and firms.
No appointment is necessary to visit the exhibition gallery on the first-floor, which delves into the history of buildings and design. Recent exhibits included one on photographs documenting the little-known Quaker aesthetic: “Silent Witness: Quaker Meetinghouses of the Delaware Valley, 1695 to the Present.”
The Athenaeum was founded as a member-supported library in 1814, and continued for more than a century and a half as a British-style reading room on one of the city^s original squares. During the last quarter century, the Athenaeum built its collections, restored its building, and transformed itself into a national center for the history of architecture and design. The Athenaeum stands only one block from Independence Hall, overlooking leafy Washington Square.
Open Mon – Fri
Guided tours and research by appointment only.
Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Project, www.philadelphiabuildings.org provides access to more than 13,000 biographies and 30,000 images.
In the neighborhood
Museums & Attractions
Sixth and Walnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106
- National Liberty Museum
- The Bourse
- Philly POPS! On Independence 2016
- National Archives and Records Administration Mid-Atlantic Region
- PSFS Building
- Independence Visitor Center
- Merriam Theater
- Elfreth’s Alley
- Mural Arts Philadelphia
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Restaurants & Dining
206 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Hard Rock Cafe Philadelphia
- 2nd Story Brewing
- Wedge + Fig
- The Little Lion
- Zavino Pizzeria and Wine Bar
- Talula’s Garden
- Ms. Tootsie’s Restaurant Bar Lounge
- Tria – Wine Beer & Cheese Café
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