Watch CBS News

Top Historic Landmarks In Philadelphia

A place is designated a historic landmark by the United States government for an outstanding amount of historical significance. There are about 2,500 different historical landmarks in the country and Philadelphia has about 67 of them. If you wish to take in a day of culture and history, there are plenty of places to choose from, whether your interests are in architecture, art or history.

Christ Church
22-26 N 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19105
(215) 922-1695

Christ Church was founded in 1695 and was once referred to as "The Nation's Church." This is because so many historical figures from Colonial and Revolutionary history are buried in the cemetery and at the nearby Christ Church Burial Ground. All of this contributes to making it one the most historic churches in Philadelphia. Some of the historical people buried here include Ben Franklin as well as 15 other signers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Christ Church is designed in the Georgian Architectural style and is an Episcopal Church.

Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 236-3300

Eastern State is America's most historic prison and considered the world's first true penitentiary. You can visit this historic landmark all year round and admission includes a walking tour, audio tour and a hands-on exhibit. One of the highlights is Al Capone's cell with its original items, including fancy rugs and ornate furniture. During Halloween, the prison hires approximately 200 actors and gets a Halloween makeover with six main attractions complete with animatronics, lights and props to take the already scary place to a new level.

Laurel Hill Cemetery
3822 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19132
(215) 228-8200

Laurel Hill Cemetery is not only full of history, as it's the city's oldest graveyard, but it is also the country's first rural cemetery. The cemetery is vast, with its 78 acres, and rivals New York City's Central Park (Laurel Hill was created first though!). If you have never been, you should consider going on "The Hot Spots and Storied Plots" walking tour on February 27 at 10 a.m. During this tour, you can learn all about the beautiful marble masterpieces, take in the views and discover the history behind this national landmark. The Hot Spots and Storied Plots will be a monthly tour from May through October on the fourth Friday and second Saturday. The whole month of October is full of events that include outdoor movies, a murder mystery event and family activities for the kids, too.

Related: Philadelphia's Most Interesting Churches

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
118-128 Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 972-7600

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) is the oldest art school and museum in the country, founded in 1805. It is also known internationally for its collection of 19th and 20th century art work. PAFA is one of the most beautiful yet least advertised museums and also features art from emerging artists alongside some of the world's masterpieces. You can tour daily. There are different types of exhibits on display at PAFA annually. Until April 5, 2015, you can view a collection of 150 works of artist Peter Blume. "Nature and Metamorphous" is the first retrospective display of Blume's since 1976.

Related: Walking Tour of Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill Neighborhood.

Walnut Street Theater
825 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 574-3550

The Walnut Street Theater is the oldest English speaking theater in the world and was founded in 1809. The Walnut runs several shows each year during its series and features a main stage production as well as plays for children. On May 29-31, take the kids to see "School House Rock Jr," and next on the main stage from March 10 through April 25, 2015, you can see Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None." The independent studio on the third floor is an intimate setting for productions put on by students, and it seats about 80.

Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.