History & Archaeology

    • The firm of Venturi and Rauch designed this simple but expressive facade for the home of Venturi's mother.

Chestnut Hill to expand what qualifies as historic

Chestnut Hill is about to update its definition of "historic." Since the mid-1980s, the charming section of Northwest Philadelphia has been one of the largest historic districts on the National Register…

    • Independence Hall

Officials toast World Heritage City designation

City officials, business leaders, and local and foreign dignitaries gathered at the Independence Visitor Center Wednesday night to celebrate Philadelphia’s designation as a World Heritage City. Such designations are made by…

    • First bicyclist meet in front of Memorial Hall, Fairmount Park | Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Penrose Pictoral Philadelphia collection

November 11: Public history in 21st century Philly

Devoted readers of this space know how much we love sharing images of the city’s past – from early 20th century aerials to streetviews of the mid-century city. These photographs…



A city’s history plays a significant role in how we move through it, especially East Coast colonial cities such as Philadelphia.  William Penn and Thomas Holmes’ grid framework for Center City Philadelphia still exists today and is in many ways Philadelphia’s most defining characteristic.  Oftentimes new development projects will unearth pieces of history long forgotten, as was the case with the planned SugarHouse Casino and the Girard Avenue interchange of I-95.  Keeping and commemorating our important historical moments helps inform future development and contributes additional character to a community.



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