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What Might Have Been: Alternate Histories of the Ben Franklin Parkway–FULL

October 20, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Cost: Free (but we need you to register–this one will sell out in no time!)

Hidden City has teamed up with the Parkway Museums District to celebrate the Parkway’s Centennial. Travel back to a time when the city still made grand plans with tour guide Rob Armstrong, Preservation and Capital Projects Manager for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. We’ll explore the long process of building the Parkway, and the different design iterations it went through prior to construction. We’ll also discuss ambitious plans for the Parkway that never came to fruition, including architect Louis Kahn’s “Triangle Redevelopment Plan,” the Tadao Ando-designed Calder Museum, and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s grandiose “Temple of Music.”

We’ll take a close look at what did get built, too, of course–the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation, and two products of Roosevelt’s New Deal: the Family Court Building, and the former School District of Philadelphia headquarters.

And we’ll talk about recent efforts to improve the experience of walking along the Parkway–a series of upgrades that are bringing the boulevard closer to the original vision of its designer, Jacques Gréber.

This is a one-time-only tour celebrating the Parkway’s 100th anniversary–and it’s free–so don’t miss it!

Questions, concerns, conundrums? Contact Peter Woodall at pwoodall@hiddencityphila.org or 267-259-7112

Tour guide Rob Armstrong is the Preservation and Capital Projects Manager for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation where he works on projects related to the city-wide trail network, historic preservation and other park improvements. He earned his Ph.D. from Lehigh University in American History, investigating the history and development of Philadelphia’s Park system and urban open space in Philadelphia. In his free time, he enjoys bicycling, music, reading, movies, homebrewing and rooting for the Phils.

This tour is presented in partnership with:


October 20, 2018
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Sister Cities Park
210 N. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103


Pete Woodall