World Architecture Day

Celebrate by checking out 10 of the Philadelphia area’s coolest buildings.

Each year, the International Union of Architects, which comprises some 1.3 million architects worldwide, celebrates its craft with a unique theme. The 2015 event will be held Oct. 5, and the theme will revolve around architecture, building and climate.

As one of the oldest cities in America—founded officially on Oct. 27, 1682, by William Penn—Philadelphia is home to amazing historical architecture, as well as sleek, modern designs, all beautifully juxtaposed along the streets and the skyline.

Here are 10 buildings to appreciate in and around the city.

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—Lisa Dukart


Created by William Strickland, a student of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the Second Bank of Pennsylvania is in the Greek Revival style. Construction began in 1819, and the design includes eight Doric columns, while the exterior is made of marble.

420 Chestnut St., Philadelphia.


Built in 1744, this Philadelphia landmark was the summer home of the Wister family. The farmhouse is made of stone and oak, and it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places for over 40 years. Tours of the house and the two-acre property are available.

5267 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. Visit

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Originally known as the Bryn Mawr Hotel, this all-girls school was established by Florence Baldwin in 1888. Frank Furness designed the Victorian hotel. He and his firm, Furness, Evans and Company, built a second hotel in the Renaissance Revival style that was later purchased by the school. It features dormers, a conical roof, finials and towers.

701 Montgomery Ave., Bryn Mawr. Visit


This historical estate, built in 1767, is now a museum showcasing its history. It is also known as the Benjamin Chew House, for its original owners, who lived there for seven generations. Sitting on 5.5 acres, the colonial house was a site of the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Germantown, and it is an example of Georgian architecture. Tours are available April-December.

6401 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. Visit


Originally built in 1789, this mansion was a simple stone farmhouse. The Jeffords family added a ballroom, a reception area, kitchen facilities and more in 1914. It sits on over 2,000 acres. Today, the mansion is considered to be in the English Tudor style and is mimicked in other buildings throughout the park.

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351 Gradyville Road, Newtown Square. Visit


Nine generations of Wycks lived in this house between 1690 and 1973. William Strickland added the colonial farmhouse in 1824. The property features a greenhouse, a rose garden and fruit trees, a carriage house, an icehouse and more. The Wyck House is open for tours April-November.

6026 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. Visit


Commissioned by Margaret Esherick and one of just nine houses designed by Louis I. Kahn, this wood, stucco and glass house was built between 1959 and 1961. The modern home—which features hardwood floors, a copper-and-wood kitchen, and a sleek exterior—is privately owned.

204 Sunrise Lane, Chestnut Hill.


Built by Thomas G. Clark in 1731, this stone farmhouse became famous when George Washington made it his headquarters during the Battle of the Brandywine. Owned by Benjamin Ring, a Quaker farmer, the house was perfectly situated for Washington to prepare for where the British troops would cross the river in modern-day Chadds Ford. Today, it is part of the Brandywine Battlefield Park Association and can be toured.

1491 Baltimore Pike, Chadds Ford. Visit


This iconic Philadelphia landmark was built between 1832 and 1834 and was designed by William Strickland in the Greek Revival style. During the 19th century, the building served as a financial and mailing center. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1952 and was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001. Admission is free, and it is open for tours on weekdays.

143 S. Third St., Philadelphia. Visit


Entrepreneur Samuel Morris built this Georgian-style home between 1743 and 1748. Previously known as the Whitemarsh Estate, Hope Lodge is partially made of bricks. It is believed that Independence Hall architect Edmund Woolley may have provided advice on this building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The estate can be toured on select dates.

553 S. Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington. Visit

Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!