Architecture & Design

Get Your Arch On: How to Become a Philly Architecture Expert

Go from noob to nerd in four easy steps.


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1. In the warmer months, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia hosts niche walking tours with titles like “Art Deco” and “Littlest Streets East of Broad.” 

2. For more immersive experiences, the Center for Architecture + Design always has talks and exhibits going on at its Market East HQ. The annual kid-focused Saturday classes (one example: “Be a Gingerbread House Architect”) return this winter, while a 10-part lecture series, “Building Philadelphia: Architecture, History + Politics,” is in March. (You’ll leave with a certificate.)

3. This month, on November 13th, sign up to attend “Ardrossan: The Last Great Estate on the Philadelphia Main Line,” a one-shot lecture by David Wren at the Union League focused on his book about the Philadelphia Story house.

4. Not social? Pick up a copy of Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City, by John Andrew Gallery; download audio interviews from the Athenaeum of Philadelphia’s website — topics range from “Architecture and Justice” to Inga Saffron’s rowhouse-boom-inspired talk “The New Bedroom City”; or go into an Internet hole on the fascinating William Penn Foundation-backed Philadelphiabuildings.org.

» See Also: The Know-It-All-Guide to Philly Architecture

Published as “Get Your Arch On” in the November 2017 issue of Philadelphia magazine.