The Athenaeum of Philadelphia

National center for architectural history

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Photo courtesy The Athenaeum of Philadelphia
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The 1840s brownstone that houses as The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, a National Historic Landmark designed by architect John Notman, boasts one of Philadelphia’s finest 19th century interiors as well as a research collection dedicated to architecture and interior design.

Tours of the restored reading rooms are available by appointment, as is access to 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.

The Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Project  provides access to more than 13,000 biographies and 30,000 images.

The 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.

Hotel Deal

Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Book the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package for stays through June 15, 2018 and get FREE hotel parking as well as a $25 We ♥ 13th Street restaurants gift card, a $25 CHeU Noodle restaurants gift card, a $25 gift card to R2L, a free cheesesteak from Campo's and a $10 Lyft credit.

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