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

Join us for a special walking tour of Parkside!


Saturday, November 5, 2022


6:00am - 8:30am


School of the Future
4021 Parkside Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Join us for a special walking tour of Parkside with Michael Burch (science educator, community organizer, and founder of the Parkside Journal) and John Sigmund (Public Programs Manager and passionate park history buff). 

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 got 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

TICKET PRICES: Pay what you can – $5, $15, or $20
[ 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.
  • Dress for weather conditions
  • Bring your own water and snack (drinking water is not available in the park)
  • Dogs on leash are welcome; however you will not be able to enter the Please Touch Museum.
  • There are porta-potties available along 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.
  • Participants must maintain 6 feet of distance from one another during the event
  • Please bring a mask. We encourage you to wear it if you’re in close proximity to others
  • 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.