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  • AIA Bookstore & Design Center

    A fun, sophisticated store selling architecture books, unique designer gifts, and creative children’s toys

    The AIA Bookstore & Design Center is a recognized leader in architecture books, unique designer gifts, and creative children’s toys. The bookstore is operated by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, one of the oldest Chapters of the AIA.

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  • Bulletin Building

    George Howe’s last major commission

    Designed with Louis McAllister Jr., this simple modern structure was built as the offices and production plant for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin newspaper.

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  • Cathedral Basilica of
    Saints Peter and Paul

    The largest Catholic church in Pennsylvania

    Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

    Opened in 1864, the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter of Paul serves as the principal or Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as it houses the chair or “cathedra” of the Archbishop.

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  • Centennial Bank

    Frank Furness (1876)

    Centennial Bank

    Centennial Bank, restored by Drexel University, includes such typical Furness devices as squat columns, pointed windows, and decorative brick patterns.

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  • Center for Architecture

    Home of the Philadelphia chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Community Design Collaborative

    The Center for Architecture offers walking tours, exhibitions, lectures, kids workshops, films, book talks and other events on the topics of architecture, urban planning, and design.

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  • City Hall

    The largest municipal building in the country and the finest example of the Second Empire style

    Philadelphia City Hall

    City Hall is the largest municipal building in the United States, containing over 14.5 acres of floor space. It is an architectural treasure inside and out.

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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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  • Emergence of a Modern Metropolis Walking Tour

    Explore the social, economic and political forces that helped Philadelphia become an architectural jewel

    Highlights include the spectacular Victorian interior of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; the soaring central court of Philadelphia’s first department store, Wanamaker’s (now Macy’s Center City); and the atrium of the brand new Comcast Center, Philadelphia’s tallest skyscraper.

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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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  • First Unitarian Church

    Frank Furness (1885-86)

    The First Unitarian Church

    While Frank Furness designed a number of churches, First Unitarian was a project that was especially dear to him.

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  • Fisher Fine Arts Library

    Frank Furness (1888-90)

    Fisher Fine Arts Library

    On the University of Pennsylvania, Frank Furness (1888-90)

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  • Fonthill Museum

    Henry Mercer’s concrete castle, an American treasure

    Exterior of Fonthill Museum.

    Mercer, an expert in prehistoric archaeology, a homespun architect and a writer of Gothic tales, built three memorable structures, including Fonthill, the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, and the Mercer Museum, on what’s now known as the Mercer Mile. All were constructed with reinforced concrete, using a technique perfected by Mercer in the early part of the 1900s.

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  • Glencairn Museum

    Centuries of religious artifacts in a modern castle

    Glencairn Museum

    Centuries of religious artifacts in a modern castle

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Mechanics’ National Bank

    Philadelphia’s first bank for the working and artist classes

    The Mechanics' National Bank

    Mechanics’ National Bank building has been the proud home of many establishments in its 200 years of existence. Today, it houses the wildly popular bar, National Mechanics.

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  • Merchant’s Exchange

    William Strickland (1832-1833)

    The Merchant's Exchange

    The oldest stock exchange building in the country and one of the most beautiful.

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  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

    A masterful collection of American art housed in a historic Center City building

    Gallery in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

    A jewel nestled in the heart of Center City, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) hosts vast collection of American art boasts treasures by local and national luminaries such as Charles Willson Peale (founder of the Academy), Thomas Eakins (who taught here), and Violet Oakley.

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  • Philadelphia International Airport

    The Gateway to Philadelphia and The Countryside®

    Philadelphia International Airport is located just seven miles from downtown Philadelphia with easy access via taxi, train, limousine and shuttle services.

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  • PSFS Building

    George Howe (1930-1932)

    The country’s first International style skyscraper

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  • Richards Medical Research Building

    Louis I. Kahn (1957-1961)

    Considered to be one of the most significant examples of modern American architecture

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  • Rodeph Shalom Synagogue

    A 1920s-era architectural marvel and home to the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art

    This synagogue, built in 1927, is an outstanding example of the Byzantine style. The building, which places home to the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, is free and open to the public.

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  • Shiloh Baptist

    An historic church designed by the renowned Frank Furness

    A beautiful piece of period architecture designed by the renowned Frank Furness, Shiloh plays host to expertly curated dance and visual art events.

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  • St. Stephen’s Protestant Episcopal Church

    William Strickland (1822-23)

    St. Stephen’s Church is the only surviving example of architect William Strickland’s Gothic style.

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  • The Architectural Archives
    & Kroiz Gallery

    Preserving and presenting architecture – in a National Historic Landmark

    How bombastic-yet logical! In the bowels of architect Frank Furness’s most outrageous work-a structure that looks more like a steamboat than a library-resides an archive celebrating the dynamism of architecture. University of Pennsylvania’s Architectural Archives preserves drawings, sketchbooks, models and manuscripts of more than 400 designers who worked over three centuries.

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  • The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

    National center for architectural history

    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.

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  • The Bourse

    A historic building on Independence Mall with a food court and specialty shops

    Stopping for lunch at The Bourse.

    Located adjacent to Philadelphia’s historic Independence Mall, the Bourse offers a convenient resting spot while you sight-see. The 105-year-old Victorian building — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — houses a food court and specialty shops.

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