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Discover Strawberry Mansion: Neighborhood and East Park Walking Tour

Learn about the past, present and future of Strawberry Mansion and nearby East Park.


Sunday, September 18, 2022


6:00am - 8:30am


Boxers’ Trail Gateway
3336 W. Dauphin Drive
Philadelphia, 19132

Learn about the past, present and future of Strawberry Mansion and nearby East Park through the eyes of longtime resident, historian, and community organizer Judith Robinson.

Strawberry Mansion has always had a close connection to the park. In fact, the neighborhood is named after a prominent place in the park: Historic Strawberry Mansion. Similarly to Parkside on the other side of the Schuylkill, Strawberry Mansion is where the city grid meets the greenspace, buffered by a boulevard of grand homes and apartment buildings facing the park. It’s a neighborhood that has lived many lives through the years, from its beginnings as a 18th century rural retreat, to its 19th century industrial boom with a proliferation of factories and rowhouses, to the 20th century that experienced a demographic shift from a primarily Jewish enclave to an established African-American community. Judith will highlight the neighborhood’s history as a hub of cultural activity– the home to artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner and Dox Thrash, musicians such as John Coltrane and Meek Mill, and community groups such as Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, the horse riders who inspired the hit movie Concrete Cowboy.

The tour begins with the colonial homes that first defined the area, and then visit a variety of important park sites such as the Dell Music Center, the Medicine Man statue, the old concession stand, and the recently installed horseshoe pits. Next, Judith will lead us down 33rd St., East Park’s parkside promenade to see a sanctuary that symbolizes neighborhood change – B’nai Jeshurun synagogue/Cornerstone Baptist Church, Mander Recreation Center, and the John Coltrane house. The tour will end at a relatively new addition to the park and neighborhood- The Discovery Center at the Strawberry Mansion Reservoir.

TICKET PRICES: Pay what you can – $15, $20, or $25 
[ Not sure what to pay? Please refer to this Sliding Scale Pricing FAQ for additional info. ]

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS: If Philadelphia’s parks make a difference in your life – consider becoming a member of Fairmount Park Conservancy and help ensure that Philadelphia’s parks are enhanced for generations to come. PLUS members register first for events and enjoy discounts on park experiences including Treetop Quest, Shofuso and more!


  • Tour covers about 2.5 miles on foot. Not all areas will be ADA accessible.
  • Appropriate for adults and families with children ages 12 & up. Minors must be registered and accompanied by an adult.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes.
  • Please dress according to weather conditions.
  • Please bring your own water and snacks (drinking water is not available in the park).
  • Well-behaved dogs on leash are welcome, however you will not be able to enter buildings
  • There are bathroom available at the beginning and end of the tour route.

By registering for this event you are agreeing to follow ALL of these protocols:

  • This event will be capped. Please only register if you fully intend to attend and let us know if you need to cancel ASAP.
  • Please bring a mask in case you’re in close proximity to others.
  • Participants must maintain 6 feet of distance from one another during the event.
  • If you or anyone in your household are exhibiting COVID-19 systems, please stay home.

This event will take place in light rain. In the event of heavy rain or other severe conditions, the event will be canceled and attendees are eligible for a full refund.