Athenaeum of Philadelphia

Address: 219 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Neighborhood: Society Hill


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Contact: 215-925-2688

Description: Built between 1845 and 1847, this is one of the first Renaissance Revival buildings in the nation. Architect John Notman, who won the design competition, described the facade as “an excellent specimen of the Italian style of architecture,” and the commission helped him gain a reputation as one of the leading architects of his time. Notman’s use of brownstone was also innovative and helped promote the material in Philadelphia and beyond. The Athenaeum was founded in 1814 and continues as a major force in the intellectual life of the city and the nation.

Resources for Researchers & Educators

Information for Visitors


  • Changemakers – social reform, racial justice, political movements
  • Architecture and design – iconic, famous, or representative
  • Arts through the ages – music, art, theater
  • Business of life – stories of daily life, business, industry, commerce

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