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Parkside Past, Parkside Present: Neighborhood and Centennial District Walking Tour

Join us for a special walking tour of the Parkside neighborhood!


Saturday, October 28, 2023


10:00am - 12:30pm


School of the Future
4021 Parkside Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Join the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Michael Burch (science educator, community organizer, and founder of the Parkside Journal) for a special walking tour of the Parkside neighborhood on October 28 from 10:00 AM—12:30 PM.

Parkside. The name says it all — it’s the neighborhood beside West Fairmount Park. Similarly to Strawberry Mansion on the other side of the Schuylkill, Parkside is where the city grid meets the greenspace, buffered by a boulevard of grand homes facing the park. Much of the Parkside neighborhood was built during the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. Originally populated by German-Americans and Jewish immigrants of Russian descent, after World War II, the Great Migration coupled with ‘white flight’ transformed Parkside into a predominantly African-American neighborhood, which it remains to this day. In 1983, community organizers had the neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its cultural legacy and many fine examples of Victorian architecture.

Tour highlights include:

  • Centennial Exposition model in Please Touch Museum
  • Smith Memorial Arch
  • Parkside Apartments. (when built it was one of the tallest apartment buildings in the city)
  • Christ Community Baptist Church (built from an Old synagogue)
  • Lansdowne Apartment Building built in 1897
  • Centennial Commons
  • Philadelphia Stars Negro League Memorial Park and mural

Estimated distance:
about 2.5 miles
easy to moderate
mainly flat sidewalks/trails

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. ]


  • The tour covers about 2.5 miles on foot. Not all areas will be ADA-accessible.
  • Appropriate for adults and families with children ages 12 and up. Minors must be registered and accompanied by an adult.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes.
  • Please dress for weather conditions.
  • Bring your own water and snack (drinking water is not available in the park).
  • There are porta-potties available along the tour route.
  • Dogs on leashes are welcome; however, you will not be able to enter the Please Touch Museum.

There is plenty of free parking available in the School of the Future parking lot closer to Girard Ave. As always, never leave valuables in your car! If you are traveling by public transit, the nearest station is at Parkside Ave and 40th Street. The nearest Indego bike station is roughly 1/2 mile away at the Philadelphia Zoo (1046 North 34th Street).

QUESTIONS? Please reach out to programs@myphillypark.org

Enjoy our programs? Become a Supporter of Fairmount Park Conservancy to help ensure that Philadelphia’s parks are enhanced for generations to come! Supporters enjoy special benefits like early registration access for events and our Park Perk Pass, which offers discounts and benefits throughout Philadelphia.

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.