Visitors to Elfreth's Alley Museum walk the same floors that two dressmakers once did in the 1790s. Today, the museum space’s restored rooms fill two of Elfreth's Alley's 32 historic homes; many of the others are still occupied by families. Staffers relate these houses' history from their construction in 1755 to the roles they’ve since played in a locale known for its connection to the arts and industry. During regular tours, guides share insight into why alleys and side streets were built, how middle-class people lived and worked in the 18th century, and why alleys were never known as roadlets. Visitors can take in exhibits including Fashioning Philadelphia, which recounts the lives of the area’s dressmakers, shoemakers, and tailors through the centuries, and The Irish and Elfreth's Alley in 1900, which tells the story of immigrant family life during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The curator at Woodmere Art Museum hangs gallery walls with pieces from the museum's collection of works of Philadelphia art. Museum founder Charles Knox Smith narrates local stories to accompany the pieces in his collection of artwork from the 19th and 20th centuries, which includes Sarah Fisher Ame's bust of Abraham Lincoln. Future exhibitions such as Force of Nature will give patrons a glimpse of Elaine Kurtz's abstracted perceptions of natural forces and austere, minimalist portrayals of Mother Nature's perfectly sorted recycling bin. Woodmere's nine galleries and salons provide ample space for the Special Exhibitions, which rotate throughout the year.
From the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the creation of the Constitution, Philadelphia has been home to some of America's biggest historical events. The Philadelphia History Museum celebrates the full gamut of the city's more than 300-year legacy. Mere steps from the Liberty Bell, the museum's eight renovated galleries spotlight artifacts and artwork from a collection of more than 100,000 items. With topics spanning from early America to sports, this assemblage includes George Washington's writing desk, John Brown's musket, and Joe Frazier's championship boxing gloves.
The museum includes plenty of interactive elements, too, such as the world's largest map of Philly, across which visitors can walk or fulfill their dreams of doing the worm through every neighborhood. Besides its exhibitions, Philadelphia History Museum hosts a rotating schedule of programs and events, ranging from insightful lectures to concerts.