An Architectural Tour of Philadelphia

One of the things I most enjoy about living in Philadelphia, is the architecture.

It's funny, because it took moving away for almost twenty years, and then returning...for me to appreciate the awesome historical beauty of this city.

I guess as a child, I always took it for granted.

Philadelphia's architecture is an incredible blend of Greek, English, French, Georgian, and Colonial styles.

And even though I moved back seven years ago, I'm still finding spots of hidden architectural treasures.

The thing that's really nice about Philadelphia, is it's size. It's cozy and very walk-able. It reminds me a great deal of Europe when I visited.

Today I would like to share some of the photo's that I took this past weekend with my new digital camera.

(I'm finally learning how to work the DAMN thing)

Most of these photo's were taking in Society Hill, which is my favorite area of Philadelphia - because it's the oldest.

So let's begin our tour....





Where would Philadelphia be without Independence Hall? For those of you who failed History Class, like me…this is where the Declaration of Independence was signed a BILLION years ago. This, and the Liberty Bell are two of the most visited spots in Philly.


The coolest thing about walking through Society Hill, is hearing the sound of the horse and carriages as they clip-clop over the cobble stone streets.
(that, and also the smell of horse manure, as it permeates the hot summer air)



This is a shot of the oldest preserved piece of cobblestone street in Philadelphia.


Here we have The Bourse, which was modeled after the European bourses (a stock exchange) . This building now contains offices, retail stores, a food court, and a fabulous movie theater.

This is an example of some beautiful Greek-style architecture. Don’t you love all the marble?



This is one of my favorite streets in Society Hill. It’s tucked away in a very quiet part of town. This is a wonderful example of some English Colonial architecture.



This is something you see a lot of in Philly…row houses. They’re quaint, but extremely narrow inside



A typical brownstone apartment building.

(that's not dirt you see on the columns and stairs...it's marble)



This is one of those wonderful cobblestone side-streets .



Here we have the famous Philadelphia BookBinders Restaurant. We use to have two of these in the city until a few years ago, when the other one closed and changed to an Applebee’s.

(eeewww...how disgustingly commercial!)



This is the stage door entrance to The Academy of Music Theater. The theater is used by the Philadelphia Opera Company and Broadway touring shows. This is where the “opera scene” from the movie, The Age of Innocence was filmed. The interior is breathtaking!



A quaint little bistro along Rittenhouse Square. I love this photo, because it makes me feel like I’m in Paris.



This was at one time a gorgeous old hotel (also along Rittenhouse Square), but it's now a gorgeous condominium.



A view of City Hall from Broad Street.

(that’s William Penn you see standing on the top)



This last photo is not a piece of architecture…however, it’s a big part of the city parks. This little guy is one of my fuzzy friends who I feed every Sunday. His name is Tony.
(notice the HATEFUL pigeon in the background)



So there you have it folks…a quick tour of Philadelphia.
I know I sometimes bitch and moan about life in the city, but every time I take a walk through the streets…I’m reminded of why I enjoy it.
Hope you did too!

22 comments

  1. Yes i did thank you! Looks beautiful!

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  2. This new system is GREAT for comments. Usually I have to tab your page and open another so that I can go back thru the post to see what items I want to comment on. Especially since I tend to wander away, this morning I actually took my son to his school program and came back later and here it still is, ready to continue my comments. So, this is perfect, letting me just scroll up to reread!
    I am sooooo glad you got a camera and can take pictures now!!! Especially of that beautiful City you live in. We've been to NYC a couple times but hub and me always prefer Philly!
    We took a tour of Independence Hall, last year maybe?? It had been the first time since probably high school (on a bus trip I guess to see the Liberty Bell) that we saw inside. To wander back in time and feel the energy of what life was like then, the signing of the Declaration, and all of that history. It's simply amazing to live RIGHT HERE, isn't it!!??
    We've never had a horse and carriage ride, altho I love to look at them and have gotten a couple pictures myself.
    The Bourse, I used to get some really funny greeting cards in there many years ago....I'd say about 25 years, when I worked at Jefferson Hospital during Senior year. I seem to remember it being a very long walk back then.
    We've eaten in there but never gone to the movies.
    I LOVE the houses and Brownstones and have had Ron drive me around in some neighborhoods to see them. If there's a light on and a curtain open all the better! He's done some work in a few of them too and after the renovation at one in particular, the woman invited all the contractors over for a luncheon. It was terrific. We had champagne and good food and got to wander around inside and see all the work. It was beautiful. Probably worth a little over a million.
    There certainly aren't very many to be had, but if we lived in the City I would sooooo need a garage. Do you know that hub's boss (who has a unit at Rittenhouse towers, that he paid 3/4 of a mill for and actually got a deal on that because it was pre-construction price) paid 60,000 EACH for 2 parking spots there. Insane. As you know, we just hung out in the Park by the Ritt and walked past that restaurant with everyone eating outside and just about every table was in service! That's the trip we ended up at Pietros and were lucky to be seated right away. Probably because of the holiday weekend and many headed out of town! There are many restaurants on our list. Tria's is a small place off the Square, but probably next! They have wine and beer and cheeses, etc. Mmmmm.
    We've been to the Academy of Music MANY times. Had seen the Phila. Orchestra alot before they moved to the Kimmel, and assorted shows. I think 'Wicked' was the last one. 'Carmina Burana' was sooooo freaking fabulous I cannot even tell you how much I enjoyed it! Ron was part of the renovation project at the A of M too! Inside, where it 'looks' like marble in some places is actually paint. He's done a few of those 'faux' jobs, including the round center area inside the Ritz. With all the chairs/tables, etc. you can't really see it, but it was a big project.
    I've blogged a couple times about trips we've taken to Philadelphia and will probably continue to do so because you are so right about how enjoyable it is!! If you can't find days and days and days of things to see and do then you just aren't looking!!

    Hey, it's wonderful that Tony the Squirrel and his buddies still have a few places to go. The quaint little parks are nice too.
    Philadelphia ROCKS!!!! Thanks so much for your tour, Ron. It was awesome. I will be back over there again and again. And if I see Tony, I'll give him a little treat!

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  3. OMG Casdok!!!!

    It's so WONDERFUL to see you!!!

    What a GREAT surprise!

    I just read your post on my reader and will be by later to leave you a comment.

    Glad you enjoyed the little Philly tour!

    Thanks SOOOOO much for stopping by, dear lady!

    Sending you and C much good energy and love!

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  4. I love this series of pictures! As an added bonus I got a bit of a history lesson too. Until reading this I hadn't realized how old our country was. A billion years? China's got nothing on us baby!

    I've never been to your beautiful city, but these shots make me want to make the journey. The one place that I have been that is similar in its architecture woud be DC. Georgetown to be more specific.

    Those old buildings have so much chaacter don't they. You can just about hear the stories coming from thier walls.

    That cobblestone looks like it would rattle the fillings right our of your teeth too.

    Thanks for a cool and informitive post.

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  5. This is great Ron. I haven't been to Philadelphia since I was aboout 12, but I don't remember any of this. We really need to take the kids to Philly. They loved all the sites in DC, I bet they would like it there too.

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  6. Morning Crystal Chick!

    Thanks for enjoying the new commenting system. You said all the things I thought would be MUCH easier to do with this system. Especially the part about being able to scroll right back to the post and read it again. PLUS being able to view the photo's easier. You can actually do this on your blog too. All you have to do, is log on to your account using blogger in draft...it's a SNAP!

    WOW...you know more about Philly than I do!

    I had to laugh at your comment about looking through the open windows of brownstones. OMG...I LOVE doing that. Especially in the Fall and Winter when it gets dark earlier. Sometimes when I'm walking home from grocery shopping, I'll just stand outside and PEEK in!
    Aren't they freaking BEAUTIFUL???

    Hey..and I know Tria. I've walked by it a dozen times, but have never gone in. It looks SO nice! I think there are two in the city.

    And is the Academy of Music NOT the most breathtaking theater you've ever seen? WOW, Ron has done a lot of work here in Philly! I never got to see Wicked when it was here last year, but heard it was FABU. The last show I saw there was Evita. LOVED IT!

    Yes, M...having some time off from work right now, and walking aroung the city all weekend with my camera, made me appreciate the beauty in this city. It's a great city, really it is. I only wish that it would open it's conciousness. You'd have to actually LIVE here to know what I'm talking about. It's a VERY closed-conciousness city, and it frustrates me at times. Again...you have to LIVE here day in and day out, to know what I mean.

    But it still doesn't stop me from enjoying the beauty!

    Hey, listen...the next time you and Ron come to the city, please email me for my phone number. I would love to meet you guys for coffee or lunch. I think it would be great to meet (if you feel ok with that).

    Just let me know!

    As always, I thank you for stopping by and sharing your awesome thoughts!

    Have a great Monday, M!

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  7. Hey Mr. Jeff!

    You always make me laugh, buddy!

    Yes...can you believe it?

    A BILLION years old???

    China's a BABY compared to us!!

    I've only been to DC once when I was very young, so I don't remember much about it. But I do know that people who visit, say it's beautiful! I think all the cities in the north-east have that same wonderful OLD feel to them.

    And you're right...the buildings almost SPEAK to you. When I first moved back to Philly, I would walk the streets for hours and actually get teary-eyed feeling the history.

    I LOVE old stuff!

    Thanks for stopping by today, Jeff!

    Always good sharing with ya!

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  8. Morning Nicole!

    I left Philly (the city) when I was about 8 years old, when my family moved to the Bucks County. We would always take school bus trips to see all the historical sites every couple of years, but for some reason...it bored the hell out of me.

    However, now that I'm older, I seem to appreciate it more.

    It really is a gorgeous city!

    Like I shared with Jeff...I have been to DC, but don't remember much about it (I was very young), but have heard it's gorgeous as well!

    I think your childern would really enjoy Philly.

    (especially the Duck Boat ride!)

    Thanks for dropping in today, Nicole!

    Have a wonderful Monday!

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  9. Seems you have mastered that new camera very well.

    Love every single shot. there are a few streets like that in the village in NYC. I have to go in and take some photos, you've inspired me

    Tony looks like a cool dude! Pity the poor pigeon - he was meant to be either a rat or a bird and somehow fate screwed him big time

    thank you so much for all these wonderful photos!

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  10. Oh Dianne...you make me laugh, dear lady!

    "Pity the poor pigeon"

    God...as you know (having lived in NYC) the damn pigeons are EVERYWHERE flying in your face!

    And stealing all the peanuts from my precious squirrels!!

    I DISPISE them!

    Anyway, thanks for enjoying the photo's. Using a digital has taken me some time to get use to. But I LOVE the fact that you can download them and view them INSTANTLY!

    Don't you love modern technology?

    (except for cellphones)

    tee, hee!

    Thanks for stopping by today, Dianne! I always enjoy talking to ya!

    Hey...and VILLAGE...now THAT'S a place photograph!!

    Have a wonderful day!

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  11. And here I was thinking Philly was just a lay over airport on my way somewhere.

    I'll have to come visit and we can share a drink at the brasserie together.

    Beautiful pictures, Ron dear. Thank you so much for the wonderful tour.

    *hugs*

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  12. Afternoon Anndi!

    Oh God...one of things that is NOT beautiful about Philadelphia, is our airport!

    It looks like a military plane hanger!!

    That place needs an Opra make-over!

    And yes...the next time you're ever in Philly, let me know. I would love to have a drink with you at the brasserie.

    We can be two LIBRA'S sitting there sipping our wine and fantasizing we're in Paris. And then fly to Rome for some spaghetti and meatballs!

    Thanks for stopping by, Anndi!

    Always a bright spot!

    Always a

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  13. Oh great photos Ron and an interesting tour. It looks like a beautiful place with great architecture. Hopefully one day I'll see it for myself. :)

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  14. Evening Akelamalu!

    I thought of you several times when I was putting this post together. So much of Philadelphia's architecture is influenced by the English style (especially where I took most of these shots, Society Hill). Many UK visitors tell me Philly makes them feel a bit like being home.

    One day, if you ever come for a visit, I would love to take you and MWM on a tour.

    ooooh....and I know of some FABULOUS wineries!!!

    (we can sip and walk)

    Thanks for stopping by today, my friend!

    Always nice seeing ya!

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  15. Gorgeous photos with your very excellent photo tour! I loved it!

    BTW, Tony is totally doing the pigeon. I can tell.

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  16. Morning Rhea!

    Thanks, dear lady!

    OMG...you're too funny!!!!

    And you're probably VERY correct in your observation...

    Because the DAMN pigeon is ALWAYS "eyeing" his peaNUTS!

    tee, hee!

    Thanks for stopping by, Rhea.

    You're always a HOOT!

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  17. Ron~
    Thanks for taking me back...
    It's been years, but you made me remember all the best things in Philly that i enjoyed...
    Which bookbinders closed?
    Applebees?
    ewwwwwwwwwww
    Bleh
    You have a good time in all that philly heat now!

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  18. nice pictures and post, we r visiting philadelphia for the first time next month. I can't wait!

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  19. Ola Lady Sorrow!

    So GOOD to see ya, dear lady!

    Yes...I just got a new camera, and decided to share the thing I love most about Philly...the architecture!

    The BookBinders located on 16th between Locust and Spruce is the one that closed. And now we have a HIDEOUS Applebee's...could you DIE???

    Oh god...don't remind me of all the freaking HEAT we're having this summer. The temperatures are not all that high, but it's the HUMIDITY that's killing me. It's in the high 80's and 90's!!!

    It's like a steam bath!

    Oh well...only a month and a half left!

    Thanks so much for stopping by tonight, Sorrow.

    It's always a wonderful treat talking to ya!

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  20. Hi April!

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

    That's so nice of you.

    Oh WOW...so your coming to Philly?

    Good for you!

    I hope you have a wonderful time in the city. I think you'll find that the people who live here are very friendly to our visitors.

    It's a small city, so you'll be able to get around very easily. And you'll also find a lot of wonderful places to eat.

    Please don't miss Society Hill...you'll love it!

    If you need any suggestions about things, please don't hesitate to email me.

    Enjoy!

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  21. Hey great photos!
    Makes me wanna take a trip there just to see it for myself!

    Gotta laugh at the headless pigeon though... Can't see him eyeing anything off! lol
    I can't stand pigeons. We have them mostly in the inner city & of course the schools.. filthy inbred SCABS!!
    I raised my eldest to believe they're evil... she loved chasing them!
    I know I'm cruel, I don't hurt them, but I do refuse to feed the damn things.

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  22. Howdy Trublmaka!

    Thanks for enjoying the photo's !

    If you ever come to Philly, I'll be very happy to give you a tour. I think you'd enjoy the city. It's too overwhelming, like NYC can be.

    (however, I DO love NYC too!)

    And thank you for being a pigeon hater like me!

    I DISPISE them because they always try and steal all the peanuts from the squirrels. They're VULTURES!

    The other day I turned the corner on a street, and one of them FLEW in my face. I felt like I was in the movie, The Birds!

    I wouldn't hurt them either, but I still can't stand them!

    tee, hee!

    GREAT talking to ya, Trub!

    Thanks for dropping by!

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