Architectural Tours

Emergence of a Modern Metropolis

December through March: Saturdays at 2 p.m.
April through November: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 2 p.m.
$15 for adults, $5 for children under 12

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Experience the transformation of Philadelphia from an engine of industry to a 21st century capital of business and culture. Featuring the architecture and urban design of the city, the Center for Architecture's walking tour will introduce you to the Modern Metropolis of Philadelphia. The tour explores Philadelphia's diverse range of architecture from the 1870s to the present, discovering the social, economic, and political forces that shaped the modern cityscape.

Highlights include the spectacular Victorian interior of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; the soaring central court of Philadelphia's first department store, Wanamakers; and the atrium of the brand new Comcast Center, Philadelphia's tallest skyscraper.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the AIA Bookstore & Design Center, located at the front of the Center.

Preparing for your tour:

  • Tours last approximately two hours and are conducted rain or shine
  • Comfortable shoes are recommended
  • Tour routes and sites are all wheelchair accessible
  • Please arrive early, as tours depart promptly

Group tours:

Tours for parties larger than 10 people are available, but we ask that reservations be made two weeks in advance. For more information, please contact Center Coordinator David Bender at 215.569.3186 or via email at .

More walking tours:

The Center for Architecture is pleased to partner with the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia to bring you more walking tours of Philadelphia and its architecture. Preservation Alliance tours focus mainly on the neighborhoods of Philadelphia and many are given by the same dedicated volunteer guides who present the Center's Modern Metropolis tour. For a full list of upcoming Preservation Alliance tours, please visit their website:


» Download Architectural Tours brochure.