Culture & recreation

Make an appointment at the Philadelphia Parks & Rec Historic Archive

The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Archive (the Archive) helps preserve park and recreation resources and provide information to the public. The collection is key to understanding the architectural and landscape resources of the Philadelphia park and recreation system.

We estimate that there are more than 10,000 documents in the Archive. They include hundreds of original architectural and landscape drawings from the 1876 Centennial Exposition held in Fairmount Park. John McIlhenny, long-time park historian, built the Archive over a twenty-year period.

You can find the following types of documents in the Archive:

  • Books
  • Current reports
  • Fairmount Park Commission annual reports
  • Fairmount Park Art Association annual reports
  • Fairmount Park engineering records
  • History files
  • Photographs and prints
  • Maps and drawings

Who

Anyone can make an appointment at the Archive.

Where and when

The Archive is located at:

1515 Arch St.
10th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19131

The Archive is available by appointment only, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

How

To visit the Archive, you need to make an appointment online.

Please review the online finding aids prior to making your appointment.

To make an appointment, fill out the form and submit.

After you submit, you will be contacted within  a few business days to finalize your appointment time.

Fill out the form

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