Walking backward while talking is useful for leading a tour, demonstrating a moonwalk, or retreating from a room full of ominously staring toddlers. See the reverse saunter put to good use with today's Groupon: for $10, you get two tickets to any architectural walking tour from Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia (up to a $20 value). Children 10 and under are admitted for free.
The Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia's 64 walking tours reveal political, social, and artistic back stories of the urban landscape that stretch from the 18th century into the present day. Rain or shine, groups of up to 25 gather according to a schedule of varying times and locations to explore the area's development from modest Quaker settlements into a city of modern skyscrapers buttressed only by a brotherly love for instant oatmeal. Erudite guides shepherd sky-gazing trotters through a warren of neighborhoods, presenting visitors with waterfront vestiges of industrial might or enlightening locals with bygone colonial and Victorian hot spots. On themed tours, eyes widen to measure the rise of the skyscraper, squint to scrutinize special building materials such as terra cotta, or practice windowsill-pie spotting on journeys along subways and railways envisioned by the Philadelphia Plan.
Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s history fills the pages of textbooks across the world. William Penn, Benjamin Franklin, and the Liberty Bell fill the indexes. But these texts do little to educate people on and preserve the physical history of Philadelphia, specifically its buildings.
Enter the nonprofit Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia. Its volunteer team of tour guides leads architectural walking tours past downtown Philadelphia’s landmarks, buildings, and cityscapes, and its staff coordinates an array of events each month, which have previously included graveyard tours, concerts, and archaeological digs. Proceeds from these activities, along with various grants, are then used to preserve the Philadelphia region’s historical buildings, subsequently preserving its historical communities and the story of the city's influential past.
Center City West
1616 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103