Philadelphia History Museum
15 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA, USA
www.philadelphiahistory.org - (215) 685-4830
Philadelphia History Museum Reviews
Worth checking for locals, not really worth it for out-of-town visitors Jul 30, 2013
Once known as the Atwater Kent Museum, the Philadelphia History Museum seems to be a different type of history museum, as it seems like it is more for locals than for visitors.
The building is about a block away from Independence Square and the Liberty Bell, on 6th Street, near the Declaration House. It is not hard to find, with the Greek Revival style columns, at the entrance.
With the name of the museum, one would expect it to be about the city history of Philadelphia. Unfortunately, there is only a very small portion of the museum devoted to that, called “City Stories”. It just has artifacts from different time periods, with the descriptions on an I-Pad screen. You select the item for a description of it.
Other than that, it seems like it was more about going down memory lane for locals, as the exhibitions keep changing along the way. There was “The Ordinary, the Extraordinary, and the Unknown: The Power of Objects”, which displays objects that tell their own story. Also, there is a section of the museum, known as “Played in Philadelphia, which features rotating exhibitions on the sports and entertainment aspect of Philly. When I was there, it was mainly about the Phillies, which I wrote about in the blog.
There are a few others, but all of them are pretty small, and I was able to see everything in 30 minutes. There is a room, with a huge map of the greater Philly area, which you can walk on.
Overall, this is not a bad place, but I have a hard time recommending it to out-of-town visitors, if they expect this place to tell the full history of Philly. But for locals, it is worth checking out, but the admission price is a bit steep for such a small collection. And very disappointing, as I think this place could be so much more, but settles for mediocrity.
So my advice for out-of-towners, is definitely skip it!
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