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The following is the calendar for the centennial celebration. For activities that continue beyond one month, the full description is listed at the first mention or click “see description above.”

October Events

Rodin’s The Kiss

Rodin Museum

Through January 2019, Pay-What-You-Wish Admission

Discover what passion looks like in the hands of a master sculptor. 2017 is the one hundredth anniversary of Auguste Rodin’s death. To mark the occasion, the Rodin Museum is taking part in worldwide celebrations of the artist’s work and legacy with special exhibitions and programs. This new installation explores the artist’s intimate and powerful depictions of romantic love.

Paul Philippe Cret and the Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation

Through Spring 2018

In 1922, Albert C. Barnes contracted French architect Paul Philippe Cret to design a gallery and residence in Merion, Pennsylvania. Featured in this exhibit are selected letters between the two men plus Cret’s vision, plans, and sketches for the buildings that officially became the Barnes Foundation in 1925. Since Cret was also one of the contributors to the design of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the site of the new Barnes new building, the exhibit also celebrates the Parkway’s centennial year.

What Might Have Been: Alternate Histories of the Ben Franklin Parkway

Walking tour, start & finish: Sister Cities Park, 210 N. 18th Street, Philadelphia

Saturday, October 20, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Registration is required (link below).

A Parkway 100 Community Conversation, supported by The PFM Group


Hidden City has teamed up with the Parkway Museums District to celebrate the Parkway's Centennial. Travel back to a time when the city still made grand plans with tour guide Rob Armstrong, Preservation and Capital Projects Manager for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. We’ll explore the long process of building the Parkway, and the different design iterations it went through prior to construction. We’ll also discuss ambitious plans for the Parkway that never came to fruition, including architect Louis Kahn’s “Triangle Redevelopment Plan,” the Tadao Ando-designed Calder Museum, and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s grandiose “Temple of Music.”

We'll take a close look at what did get built, too, of course--the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation, and two products of Roosevelt's New Deal: the Family Court Building, and the former School District of Philadelphia headquarters.

And we'll talk about recent efforts to improve the experience of walking along the Parkway--a series of upgrades that are bringing the boulevard closer to the original vision of its designer, Jacques Gréber.

This is a one-time-only tour celebrating the Parkway's 100th anniversary--and it's free--so don't miss it! 

Registration is required at this link

Questions, concerns, conundrums? Contact Peter Woodall at pwoodall@hiddencityphila.org or 267-259-7112

Tour guide Rob Armstrong is the Preservation and Capital Projects Manager for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation where he works on projects related to the city-wide trail network, historic preservation and other park improvements. He earned his Ph.D. from Lehigh University in American History, investigating the history and development of Philadelphia's Park system and urban open space in Philadelphia. In his free time, he enjoys bicycling, music, reading, movies, homebrewing and rooting for the Phils.

Parkway Soirée

Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Friday, October 26, 2018
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Philadelphia is set to celebrate the 100th birthday of its grand cultural boulevard, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, with Parkway Soirée, a block-party birthday festival from 5:00-10:00 p.m., on Friday, October 26, 2018. Presented by the Parkway Council, in partnership with PECO and PNC Bank, and featuring Night Market Philadelphia, the Parkway 100 finale promotes 100 family-friendly activities and experiences in the Parkway Museums District.

The centerpiece block party begins with the cutting of the Parkway centennial cake at 5:00 p.m. in Franklin Hall at The Franklin Institute, with music and singing led by students from Friends Select School. Guests can then grab dinner from some of Night Market Philadelphia’s favorite sweet and savory food trucks parked in Logan Square, or at the Vintage BYO Picnic at Sister Cities Park. Live music, strolling entertainers, Square Dancing in the Square around the picturesque Swann Memorial Fountain presented by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, public art and photo tours, and kids’ music jam sessions are all part of the fun.

Several Parkway museums and cultural institutions will offer extended hours and special programming to celebrate the centennial, such as pay-what-you wish evening admission, dino-dancing and a Dino Drafts beer garden at The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University; and performances by Ballet X and the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School, and a rooftop beer garden at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library. Attendees will also have a last opportunity to see the Library’s Corridor of Culture: 100 Years of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway exhibition in the West Gallery or check out the new exhibition Philadelphia: The Changing City on view in the Rare Book Department. Moore College of Art & Design hosts the West Philadelphia Orchestra, a 14-piece brass band, along with exhibitions on view indoors in the Galleries at Moore, and interactive outdoors fun, including caricatures and chalk drawings by talented Moore students.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents its popular Final Friday programming (admission), with a spotlight on the three generations of Calders on the Parkway, including Alexander (Sandy) Calder’s Ghost, which hangs in the museum’s Grand Stair Hall. There will be activities on the East Terrace, too. The Rodin Museum will be open late so visitors can explore works by the master sculptor, and the Rodin Garden Bar will be back by popular demand for one night only, offering beer, wine, and light fare for purchase in the Parisian-themed gardens. The Barnes Foundation will host a Young Professionals Night: Modern Muse, inspired by the pioneering, female impressionist painter Berthe Morisot–the subject of its new international exhibition, Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist (admission). The Franklin Institute and the exhibition, “Vikings: Beyond the Legend,” will also be open with evening hours (admission).

The story of the history of the Parkway will be told in an addition to the Association for Public Art’s Museum Without Walls™: AUDIO program, which features David B. Brownlee, Parkway historian and author of the Parkway history book, “Building the City Beautiful: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”  The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul will be open for visits. Guests can also enjoy a Parkway landscape tour presented by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

The October 26 date marks 100 years to the day when the Parkway was open, for the first time, end-to-end. Developments over the next 100 years have created one of the finest cultural districts in the world. Parkway Soirée is the finale to 14 months of exhibitions, events, community conversations, and promotions commemorating the Parkway’s centennial.

The Parkway’s birthday fete also features:

·         The sounds of jazz, pop, and blues from Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society with dance entertainment from the Old City Sweethearts, plus croquet, chess, checkers, and more to celebrate the era the Parkway got its start with the Vintage BYO Picnic at Sister Cities Park;

·         The PNC Bank Mobile Learning Adventure featuring the “When I Grow Up Station,” science-themed crafts, and complimentary educational materials;

·         In honor of Mural Arts Month, Mural Arts Philadelphia and curator Ryan Strand Greenberg present artist Alicia Eggert’s You Are Magic, a large-scale, interactive, inflatable sculpture designed to inspire wonder and evoke the power or collaboration. You Are Magic is an original artwork created for Arlington County, Virginia as part of the Arlington Art Truck program.

·         Art in the Allée participatory art project with Mural Arts Philadelphia outside The Barnes Foundation;

·         A Puzzle Park complete with over-sized puzzles from the commemorative Parkway 100 dot-to-dot coloring book;

·         Painting with Mural Arts Philadelphia;

·         Kids’ music jam sessions with Settlement Music School;

·         A focus on fun facts and French influences on the Parkway, plus French lessons for all ages, and a photo booth with Alliance Francaise;

·         Self-guided public art tours of The Logan Philadelphia collection of 1,800 works with subtle, playful nods to James Logan, the hotel’s Parkway location, and Philadelphia surroundings.

·         Selfies with zombies, presented by “Terror Behind the Walls” at Eastern State Penitentiary;

·         A Halloween party (admission) at the Mütter Museum at The College of Physicians;

·         And a video display of entries from the “My Parkway” Photo Contest.

Download Event Map