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“Great place”

Philadelphia History Museum
Ranked #92 of 463 things to do in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Just steps from the Liberty Bell the new Philadelphia History Museum showcases an array of historical objects, art, and artifacts that tell the story of Philadelphia, from its founding in 1680 to present day. The Museum features eight renovated galleries, containing stunning items from its vast holdings of over 100,000 objects, and provides various interactive elements to enhance the visitor experience. On view are items ranging from George Washington’s 1790s writing desk to Joe Frasier’s 1970s Championship boxing gloves. Visitors can also take a tour of the city by walking on the world’s largest map of Philadelphia.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We found this museum accidentally over the weekend. I was just looking for a bathroom and they were having an open house, so admission was free, so we stayed and wandered around. It's quite impressive. They have all kinds of artifacts relating to Philadelphia history and it's people. Impressive artwork, the layout was great and we truly enjoyed our time there.

Thank Suzanne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 - 86 of 91 reviews

Reviewed September 23, 2012

One of Philadelphia's strengths is its long and very interesting history. So much has happened or originated in this city. Why can't it have a good history museum celebrating its past? it deserves it. This museum has just reopened after being redesigned with several millions of dollars put into it and yet it is no better than before. Of course it is a bit brighter and the restrooms are nicer. But one still learns very,very little of Philadelphia's history. The new second floor exhibits are ok but they should be supplementary exhibits that would enhance the main exhibit. They are not main exhibit quality .... and are just as random as the displays they replaced. The first floor is almost a total waste. The largest room has only a map of Philadelphia on the floor. This again would be a nice supplementary exhibit but hardly worthy of being the only thing in one of the few large spaces that exists in this museum. For an out-of-town visitor to Philadelphia, this museum will have little of interest. For a native Philadelphia, it will have some interest because the random objects may stir a memory or truthfully what Philadelphian doesn't enjoy even a tiny exhibit on the Phillies or beer. An hour is more than enough here but 10 dollars is way too much to pay for that privilege.

1  Thank JhDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2012

I'm so glad that the Philadelphia History Museum is now fully open; we've been needing this for a long time. It's an interesting choice of displays in that it's not sequential, more single iconic items or contrasting groupings, but nonetheless effective, eye-catching, and involving. Some of the items are enough to turn a Philadelphia history lover into a choked-up mess: William Penn's wampum belt, for instance, or the portrait of Peggy Shippen. Others have more diverse appeal: Joe Frazier's boxing gloves, a 1900 potty chair, a Bulletin bench.

The floor map of Philadelphia is great, too, and should be a marvelous teaching tool about the expansion of the city and its present communities.

It may not have quite the same resonance for non-Philadelphians, but is definitely worth a quick visit for anyone who comes to the city.

2  Thank missalg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

There are three exhibits open to the public, all of which are interesting and applicable to Philly's history at different points in time. Definitely pay a visit while you're in town, but make sure to go back once it's finished, too! The staff are friendly and willing to help if you have questions. And it's FREE!

1  Thank QuickWhitTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2009

The Atwater Kent Museum is a small museum dedicated to the history of Philadelphia and Philadelphia only. It does house a small amount of art such as Rockwell drawings dealing with Philadelphia as well but it is a Philadelphia history museum and is not about those artists. The history it covers is extensive, from pre-revolution to the 1900s, and is explained through historical artifacts, displays, and informative signs. The museum is housed in a gray stone building built in 1826. This museum is the number one source for Philadelphia history and after Independence Hall offers the most history in Philadelphia. As a local I tell every tourist they should visit this museum.

3  Thank Phlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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