The Center for Architecture and Design + AIA Philadelphia’s Guide to Teaching Yourself About Philadelphia Architecture

April 12, 2016 | Explore + Learn


To celebrate National Architecture Week, AIA Philadelphia and The Center for Architecture and Design have put together a handy guide on how to teach yourself about Philadelphia architecture. Here’s how:

1. Stay up to Date with Architecture News

Philly writers are in on what’s going on in with local architecture– from current developments to historical investigations, these sources cover it: PlanPhilly, Curbed Philly, Hidden City Philadelphia, and

Looking to get a little deeper into the world of local architecture? For the latest news on local architecture firms, and upcoming events, subscribe to AIA Philadelphia’s weekly newsletter “The Philadelphia Architect” and The Center for Architecture and Design’s bi-weekly newsletter.

2. Take an Architectural Tour

Every week you can gain context about Philadelphia’s built environment through guided and self-guided walking tours. Here’s a few great resources:

Emergence of a Modern Metropolis (Center for Architecture and Design): Experience the transformation of Philadelphia from America's engine of industry to our 21st century capital of business and culture. Offered every Saturday 1-3PM

Hidden City Tours: Investigate niches within Philadelphia – Hidden City tours take participants off the beaten path into places like cemeteries, subway tunnels, and jazz clubs.

Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia: Take yourself on a walking tour. Click here for self guided walking tours around Girard Estate, Rittenhouse West, Rittenhouse East, and Society Hill.

Chestnut Hill Historical Society: This Sunday bike to Louis Kahn's Margaret Esherick House and Robert Venturi’s Vanna Venturi (Mother’s) House on the 20th Century Modern Bike Tour.

3. Attend Public Programs

Every week there are a handful of educational events about Philadelphia architecture. The Center for Architecture and Design’s calendar keeps a thorough list of programs offered by community organizations and local university programs like PennDesign, University of the Arts, Temple School of Architecture, and Philadelphia University – Looking to gain some historical knowledge this Spring? The Center for Architecture and Design is currently offering a series of lectures on Philly’s Architectural history + politics, called “Building Philadelphia”.

4. Follow These Instagram Accounts

Dig into the beautiful collection of Philly architectural photography on Instagram. Here are some of our favorite accounts: streetsdept, hiddencityphila, aiaphiladelphia, ruinporn, billycress, savephilly, and joseph_kaczmarek. Do you post photos on Instagram? Be sure to tag the new Philly architecture hashtag #philatecture

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