Your Destination Guide to Philadelphia

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Rittenhouse Square

Rittenhouse Square
Rittenhouse Square

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Rittenhouse Square, one of the five parks originally planned by Philadelphia developer William Penn, offers an exciting array of nearby art, culture, history, and dining. Named after astronomer and clockmaker David Rittenhouse, the square became a highly desirable place to live after merchant and former United States Congressman James Harper built a prestigious townhouse for himself there in the mid-nineteenth century. Today, Rittenhouse Square still serves as a symbol of wealth and prestige with many of the majestic homes being converted into luxury apartments.

The Rittenhouse neighborhood contains many artistic and historical establishments. Listen to an expressive poetry reading, witness a dynamic musical performance, or be lost amongst thought-provoking artwork at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Located on the southeast side of the Square, the Art Alliance sponsors numerous art exhibits, musical events, lectures, dramatic and poetry readings, usually free and open to the public. The Rittenhouse neighborhood is also home to the famous Curtis Institute of Music, a school based entirely on scholarship, which celebrated musicians such as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber call their alma mater. For any history or architecture buff, the Rensselaer House, former home of financer and Philadelphia Orchestra supporter Alexander Van Rensselaer, is one of the most elegant old mansions still standing.

The picturesque setting of the square itself includes statues of a frog, lion, and goat, which are very popular with young children. Adults can stroll through the green grass or sit on one of the dozens of park benches and take in the serene beauty of this peaceful setting.

Attraction Information

  • Location:
  • Between 18th and 20th Streets, Philadelphia, PA
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