5 Impressive Examples of Philadelphia Architectural Design

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Sometimes our greatest examples of inspiration are a lot closer than we think! Discover the 5 impressive example of Philadelphia architectural design here!

We always find inspiration in the architectural design around us. 

Here, we're sharing the top 5 inspirational Philadelphia buildings we never get tired of exploring.

1. The Masonic Temple

First built in 1873, Philadelphia's Masonic Temple is a wonderful example of some of the best architectural design the city has to offer. 

It's even known as a "Wonder" of Masonic History!

Designed by James H Windrum and George Herzog, the exterior of the building has a somewhat Gothic style. However, its interior has more of a Norman style, meaning that it's defined by Romanesque architectural choices.

There are a variety of different styles represented in the design and architecture of the various rooms.

Think vaulted ceilings, incredible Egyptian style complete with Pharaoh busts and hieroglyphics, and even a room built to look like a Middle Eastern mosque.

It's even been dedicated as a National Historic Landmark. 

2. Independence Hall

Of course, no trip to Philadelphia would be complete without a visit to the masterpiece, Independence Hall. 

It's done in the traditional Georgian style, and its iconic steeple was created by William Strickland.

It's even been declared a UNESCO Word Heritage Site. It's sure to stir great emotion in you.

3. The Kimmel Center For The Performing Arts

You won't just hear the beautiful music of the Philadelphia Orchestra in this stunning space, you'll also be able to feast your eyes on its gorgeous design!

Created by Rafael Vinoly, the space boasts glass roofs, high ceilings, and was designed to be as accessible to everyone as possible. 

The center is home to two venues: Verizon Hall and the Perelman Theater.

Visitors can easily explore the two venues since the design team focused on symmetrical placement. 

They also avoided putting barriers between the two spaces, to suggest they were open to all.

In an interview, the architect stated that the goal was to create "a new typology" of the space by making them look like "we were putting a glass jar over" the two concert venues.

4. Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

This stunning cathedral is a gorgeous showcase of the Italian Renaissance and Roman-Corinthian architectural design. It was built from 1846-1864 by Napoleon LeBrun and John Notman. 

If you can't make it to Italy, this is the perfect solution, as it was designed as a near replica of the Lombard Church of St. Charles in Rome. 

It's big enough to house over 2,000 people, and it's especially beloved for the vaulted dome's interior, with ornate golden and blue designs. 

It has three different altars, a crypt, and a breathtaking stained glass apse. 

5. Boathouse Row

This is another example of an architectural design that's so wonderful it was declared a National Historic Landmark. 

They were first built in the late 1800s, and line the Schuylkill River.

The 15 houses featured here show off a variety of different architectural styles, including Gothic, Victorian, and even 20th-century revival. There's no shortage of inspiration here, no matter which type of design you prefer.

One of the favorite additions to the row?

Ray Grenald's 1979 lighting design scape, which makes Boathouse Row shine like it's Christmas year-round. 


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Hi, we're the Designblendz team! We blend overlapping design disciplines to raise the standard to design, visualize, and build virtual and physical environments.