Philadelphia Open House

 

Get up close and personal with Philadelphia’s architectural, historical and cultural landmarks, museums, and private homes, during Philadelphia Open House Tours -- a week’s worth of behind-the-scenes and special-access tours organized by Philadelphia Hospitality, designed to engage visitors and residents alike with some of the city’s hidden treasures.

Tickets will be available soon.

For more information, contact Adam Travia at travia [at] philahospitality [dot] org or 215/790-9901 extension 12.

Monday, June 8

Philadelphia Community Gardens Tours

June 8 and June 12, 2015

Calling all community gardeners!  Tour some of Philadelphia's most beautiful and bountiful community gardens with the Philadelphia Horticultural Society in Bella Vista on June 8 and in Spring Garden on June 12. 

 

Barnes Foundation – Architectural Tours

June 8, 2015 at 2 PM 

Enjoy a behind the scenes Architectural Tour of the spectacular Barnes Foundation.  See how architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien faithfully reproduced the Merion galleries and seamlessly integrated the larger new building into a refined modernist masterpiece.  Following your tour, visit the gallery to enjoy at your leisure one of the finest private collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early-modern art in the world.

 

Meg Rodgers of Marguerite Rodgers Interior Design and Ellen Yin of Fork and High Street Market

June 8, 2015 at 5 PM

Join interior designer Marguerite V. Rodgers (Meg) for an insider’s view of two of Philadelphia’s favorite restaurants – Fork and High Street on Market, both designed by her award-winning local firm.   Gain a better understanding of how Meg collaborated with owner Ellen Yin to create a restaurant that has been recognized as a timeless classic.  Hors d’oeuvres and wine to follow the conversation.

 

Academy of Natural Sciences

June 8 and June 10, 2015 at 10 AM

Join Philadelphia Open House and take a private tour with Bob Beck, the Academy of Natural Sciences Curator of Art and Senior Fellow and see The Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences, arguably the most important natural history library in North America, contains books from the 16th to the 21st century, many containing the most beautiful scientific illustrations ever made.  You will see not only the magnificent works of Catesby, Redoute, Gould, Wilson, Audubon, and many other masters of natural history illustration, but also those of Charles Wilson Peale, Thomas Sully, and Nelson Shanks. Don't miss this opportunity including an All Day admission ticket to the Academy.

 

Tuesday, June 9

Meadowbrook Farms and Private Garden

June 9, 2015, 10 AM to 3:30 PM

Enjoy the early summer beauty of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's  Meadowbrook Farms with a guided tour of the garden and home  by Jenny Rose Carey, Meadowbrook's Director and noted horticultural educator. Meadowbrook Farm was built in 1936 by prominent philanthropist and socialite J.Liddon Pennock It’s grandeur remains today as J. Liddon Pennock designed the home and garden as a place where celebrities and the elite were welcomed. The garden center and gift shop will be open and lunch will be served in the garden.  

 

Union League of Philadelphia

June 9, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Visit the storied Union League of Philadelphia, a private club,  for an exquisite lunch in 1862 by Martin Hamann and a tour of the newly renovated kitchens.  Following lunch, we will set out on a tour of the new exhibit in the League's Heritage Center led by the curator.  Highlight's from the League's vast collection of Civil War objects will be presented to the group.  Please note that Business Attire is required.

 

Gran Caffe l’Aquila

June 9, 2015 at 4 PM

Enjoy the finest in Italian cuisine with a dinner and tour at Gran Caffe l'Aquila as part of Philadelphia Open House on Tuesday, June 9. This tour will include the fascinating history of the Caffe in Italy and America and a sumptuous dinner. 

 

Wednesday, June 10

Tour of the Hamilton Gardens and Chanticleer

June 10, 2015 at 10 AM until 5 PM

Grab your garden hat for a day enjoying the best of both public and private gardens.  Explore the greenhouses and  private gardens of Mrs. Samuel M. V. Hamilton,  an annual  winner of multiple awards at the Philadelphia Flower Show.   Enjoy a guided tour of Chanticleer a 30-acre pleasure garden and manor house with a profusion of flowering trees and native wildflowers blooming in the woods.  Bold color combinations and unusual plant selections characterize the gardens.  Come discover why London’s Financial Times calls Chanticleer “planted to perfection.”  Transportation and lunch included.

 

Academy of Natural Sciences

June 8 and June 10, 2015 at 10 AM

Join Philadelphia Open House and take a private tour with Bob Beck, the Academy of Natural Sciences Curator of Art and Senior Fellow and see The Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences, arguably the most important natural history library in North America, contains books from the 16th to the 21st century, many containing the most beautiful scientific illustrations ever made.  You will see not only the magnificent works of Catesby, Redoute, Gould, Wilson, Audubon, and many other masters of natural history illustration, but also those of Charles Wilson Peale, Thomas Sully, and Nelson Shanks. Don't miss this opportunity including an All Day admission ticket to the Academy.

 

Tour of “6th Street, the Avenue of Freedom” with Joe Becton

June 10, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Join Joe Becton on a guided tour of "6th Street, the Avenue to Freedom".  Starting at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the tour will pass St. Thomas Church, the historic Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, the site of Richard Allen's house, the home of Apsome Jones, Washington Square, the President's Home.  The tour will end at the African American Museum of Philadelphia where guests will receive a free museum pass for a future visit. 

 

Thursday, June 11

Tour of the West Art Collection and the Wharton Esherick Museum

June 11, 2015 at 10 AM until 5 PM

Join an excursion to Chester County where you will spend the day enjoying two contrasting art forms.  Enjoy the modern and contemporary art found in the West Collection one of the largest private art collections in the US.  Lee Stoetzel, Collection Director, will guide you through work of innovative international emerging artists.  Switching artistic gears, you will visit the home and studio of Wharton Esherick (1887-1970), heralded as the "Dean of American Craftsmen."  Painter, sculptor, and furniture maker, Esherick lived and worked in a magnificent old stone farmhouse which, today, contains over 200 examples of his painting, sculpture, and furniture. 

 

American Swedish Historical Museum

June 11, 2015 at 10:30 AM

For more than 80 years, the American Swedish Historical Museum has been preserving and promoting Swedish and Swedish-American culture.  Enjoy a private tour of the Swedish contributions to American architecture, music, science, and colonial history with Executive Director Tracey Beck.  The tour includes a traditional Swedish fika of coffee and treats. 

 

Philadelphia Navy Yard

June 11, 2015 at 1:30 PM

The Philadelphia Navy Yard was one of America's great naval bases until 1996. Although some second world war ships still remain on view, this 1,200 acre campus is now  home to 11,000 employees in 145 companies. Building styles and design range from new LEED certified construction to historic buildings on quaint streets. We will tour the Navy Yard in vans and our knowledgeable guides will be representatives from PIDC and Synterra Partners.  See for yourself the amazing growth and transformation of this unique and historic treasure, The Philadelphia Navy Yard during Philadelphia Open House.  

 

Philadelphia’s Italian Architectural Heritage with Francesco Sgrazzutti

June 11, 2015 at 3 PM

Enjoy a guided walking tour, with Italian Architect Francesco Sgrazzutti, through centuries of architectural evolution where the Italian archetype accompanied the evolution of Philadelphia architecture.  The tour will focus on a selection of buildings from the great patrimony represented by historic Philadelphia, such as, the First Bank of the United States, Carpenters’ Hall and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.  A wine and cheese reception will be held at the office of the Andrea Canepari, Consulate General of Italy, following the tour. 

 

Japanese Tea Demonstration and Light Reception at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden

June 11, 2015 at 6 PM

Enjoy an after-hours demonstration of Japanese tea ceremony followed by a light reception and tour at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, a traditional-style Japanese house and nationally-ranked garden in West Fairmount Park that reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia, from the 1876 Centennial Exposition to the installation of its contemporary paintings in 2007.

 

Friday, June 12

The Woodlands

June 12, 2015 at 2 PM

James G. Mundy,  President  of the Board of Directors of The Woodlands  Cemetery & Trust for Historic Preservation, will be your guide on a tour of this National Historic  Landmark District.  Walk through this former one-of-a-kind English pleasure garden and 19th century rural cemetery, an oasis in the heart of bustling University City.  You will have the opportunity to tour one of the nation’s most architecturally sophisticated neoclassical houses, the prototype Federal mansion in America.  The Woodlands also contains two 18th century buildings, elaborate Victorian funerary monuments,  majestic  trees, and many of Philadelphia’s most interesting people. 

Refreshments will be served in the mansion following the tour.

 

Tour of the Vaults at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA)

June 12, 2015 at 2 PM

Join Philadelphia Open House and go behind-the-scenes with Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts CEO, David Bingham, to see unseen paintings by Mary Cassatt and Daniel Garber; sketches by Kenyon Cox; a sculpture by Walker Hancock who taught at PAFA and was one of the "Monument Men" during WWII.  The rarely seen vaults at PAFA are not to be missed!

 

Kayak Tours on the Schuylkill River

Friday, June 12 at 5:30 PM  

Experience a unique perspective of Center City with spectacular views of Fairmount  Dam, the Art Museum, Fairmount Water Works and the city skyline.   Refreshments will be enjoyed following your paddle. 

Basics instructions and safety briefings prior to paddle time. Dress comfortably and in clothing that could get a little wet.

Note: There is another Kayak Tour on June 13, 2015 at 10:30 AM

Saturday, June 13

Bicycle Tours through Fairmount Park and the Wissahickon

June 13 (Fairmount Park) and June 14 (The Wissahickon) at 9 AM

Bicyclers -- the choice is yours!  

You can join Bill Miffllin, former Director of the Fairmount Park Commission for an 8-mile bike tour along Kelly and MLK Drives on Saturday, June 13, or 

a 5 mile bike rides in the beautiful Wissahickon Valley on Forbidden Drive on Sunday, June 14.

 The Fairmount Park Tour will begin and end at the Fairmount Waterworks Interpretive Center, 640 Waterworks Drive, Philadelphia, PA. 19130 (behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art).

In addition to exploring the Waterworks Interpretive Center with a personal guide, the bike ride will include highlights of the many outdoor works of art along the River Drives. MLK Drive is closed to vehicular traffic to enhance the experience.

Bike Rentals are available from Wheel Fun Rentals, 1 Boathouse Row, and 215 232-7778

On June 14, The Wissahickon Bike ride will start and end at the Cedars Café House, 700 Thomas Rd. Philadelphia, PA. 19118. (End of Forbidden Drive and Northwestern Ave.) The Wissahickon Valley is a National Historic Landmark Refreshments will be provided after the ride at the Cedars Café House.

Both rides are easy to moderate pace and everyone is required to wear a helmet.

 

Kayak Tours on the Schuylkill River

June 12 (Schuykill Banks) at 5:30 PM and June 13, 2015 (Manayunk) 10:30 AM

Connecting with the river provides an opportunity to get away from the noise and bustle of city life.  While paddling on this tree lined stretch of the Schuylkill River enjoy  the serenity as you pass  under several bridges keeping eyes open for interesting variety of birds and turtles. 

Basic instructions and safety briefing will be given prior to tour.

Dress comfortably and in clothing that could get a little wet.

 

Irish Heritage and Influence in Philadelphia

June 13, 2015 at 12 PM

Join Philadelphia Open House 2015 and learn about the profound influence of the Irish in America and in Philadelphia, including a visit to the Irish Memorial at Penn's Landing.  The program will include brunch at the The Plough and The Stars. 

 

LGBTQ Community and the Gayborhood Tour and Bar Crawl

June 13, 2015 at 4 PM

Join historian, guide and William Way archivist Bob Skiba for this in depth look at the history of the gayborhood and the contributions of GLBTQ citizens to its growth and how it became the neighborhood it is today. The tour will make three bar stops for refreshments and snacks!  The tour also includes a ticket to the upcoming National Constitution Center exhibit Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court.

 

Sunday, June 14

Bicycle Tours through Fairmount Park and the Wissahickon

June 13 (Fairmount Park) and June 14 (The Wissahickon) at 9 AM

June 13 (Fairmount Park) and June 14 (The Wissahickon) at 9 AM

Bicyclers -- the choice is yours! 

You can join Bill Mifflin, former Director of the Fairmount Park Commission for an 8-mile bike tour along Kelly and MLK Drives on Saturday, June 13, or a 5 mile bike ride in the beautiful Wissahickon Valley on Forbidden Drive on Sunday, June 14.

The Wissahickon Bike ride will start and end at the Cedars Café House , 700 Thomas Rd. Philadelphia, PA. 19118. ( end of Forbidden Drive and Northwestern Ave.) The Wissahickon Valley is a National Historic Landmark During the ride we will stop to enjoy the flora and fauna of this natural unique treasure within our city limits. Refreshments will be provided after the ride at the Cedars Café House.

Both rides are easy to moderate pace and everyone is required to wear a helmet

 

Tour of Headhouse Farmer's Market and Lunch with Chef Michele Haines

June 14, 2015 at 10 AM

Calling all foodies!  Join renowned Chef Michele Haines for an energetic shopping trip to the Head House Farmers Market with tastings at her favorite vendors.  The tour will be followed by lunch prepared by the Chef in her Old City home!

 

Historic Fort Mifflin

June 14, 2015 at 1 PM

Take the family out to Fort Mifflin on the Delaware know as “ The Fort that Saved America” to honor Flag Day and the Birthday of the US Army. This fun filled day will include an exclusive private tour for Philadelphia Open House participants  , as well as uniform weapons and cannon demonstrations , raising the Ft. Mifflin flag over the Delaware River, a scavenger hunt designed for children and birthday cake. Each participate will take home a replica of the Fort Mifflin Flag.

Commissioned in 1771, Fort Mifflin is one of America's few sites associated with both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.