Architecture Walking Tour Series

This event is no longer on sale.

Saturday May 8

11:00 AM  –  1:00 PM

Experience the transformation of Philadelphia from America’s 19th century engine of industry to a 21st century capital of business and culture. This 2-hour tour explores Philadelphia’s diverse range of architectural styles and building technologies from the 1860s to the present, detailing the social, economic, and political forces that shaped the modern cityscape. It is divided into three parts:

  • Era 1 – Late Victorian / Post Civil War (1870 – 1890)
    A period of architectural eclecticism
    Stone-age building techniques (masonry) with lots of ornamentation
  • Era 2 – Birth of the Skyscraper (1890 – 1930)
    The adaptation of old forms to new functions (mass manufacturing)
    Steel-frame construction disguised behind traditional materials with some ornamentation
  • Era 3 – The Modern City (1930 – present)
    A period of Modernism & Post-Modernism
    Curtain wall building technique allows vast, minimalist, glass surfaces

Meet at the Paint Torch sculpture outside of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Broad and Cherry Streets (map).

In registering to attend this walking tour, you agree to the following:

  • During the tour, all participants including the tour guide, will wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times.
  • Preservation Alliance walking tours utilize an audio system that transmits from a headset worn by the guide to earpieces worn by tour attendees. The equipment is throughly sanitized before and after each use. Tour attendees can also plug in their personal headsets or earbuds that use a standard headphone jack.
  • All participants, including the tour guide, must maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others.

Space is limited. Advance registration required.

Email us at for any questions or join the waitlist for a sold out tour!