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Secretly Awesome Skyline Views – Part 2

Center City Holiday Tour Image 3

Secretly Awesome Skyline Views – Part 2


Get ready for more incredible Skyline Views! This week, we’ve got the hugely talented Mark Ayzenberg providing some truly amazing photography. He’s been the Featured Artist in the Philly Tour Hub gallery since June and we’re kind of obsessed with his work. Not only does he get the most awesome shots, but he prints a lot of his work onto metal, so seeing it in person is a must. Hope this week’s post inspires you to explore Philly a little more deeply, get off the beaten path, and put Skyline Hunting on your “Things To Do in Philadelphia” list!

Looking North: South Street Bridge

Photo Credit: Mark Ayzenberg, Urban Artscapes Photography

First of all, this picture is everything. Mark Ayzenberg is a photography wizard.

Now, about the view. The South Street Bridge is one of the connectors from Penn’s campus across the Schuylkill River to the Fitler Square, Rittenhouse Square West, Gray’s Ferry, and Southwest Center City neighborhoods. You see students crossing it all day long and it offers a really fabulous view of the skyline! We like it because you can see the Cira Center (and construction of Cira 2) along with the rest of the skyline from fairly close. It’s a great place to pause if you’re checking out Penn’s campus, the Schuylkill River Trail, or Schuylkill River Park (pro-tip: the dog park at the Schuylkill River Park is fantastic). If you’re looking to double down on skyline views, cross the bridge onto Penn’s campus and head north. Another great view is just a short walk away…


Looking East: Penn’s Intramural Fields

Photo Credit: Kendra Leblang for Philly Tour Hub


It’s probably not too often that people just take a stroll along the western side of the Schuylkill River, through the Penn Intramural Fields. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know this side of the city with our Street Food for Thought Tour – and we’re liking what we’re seeing! The tour takes you through Drexel and Penn’s campuses, which is an area that non-students might not think about checking out regularly. And you definitely don’t hear about visitors to Philly heading across the river. Plus, you get to eat from several different food trucks along the way! But enough about our awesome tour – let’s talk about the view! In our opinion, there’s a fairly specific spot to get the best view: it’s next to the Penn tennis courts, just before you cross over the train tracks heading to Franklin Field. Looking out over the city, surrounded by hopeful undergrads enjoying their days and 24 acres of greenspace, you can’t help but marvel at the way Philadelphia blends urban architecture and the quintessential collegiate experience.


Looking Southwest: Wood Street Greenspace

Photo Credit: Kendra Leblang for Philly Tour Hub

We love finding unexpected surprises (who doesn’t?) and the greenspace along Wood Street is exactly that! Center City Philly has it’s share of grassy areas – Franklin Square and Independence National Historical Park are both nearby – but this one is particularly surprising. First of all, it’s huge! This greenspace stretches from east of 2nd Street all the way to 6th Street (pictured) and in an area of town where space is at a premium, this is incredible! Wood Street is just within the Old City boundaries with Callowhill acting as the official border. Few people walk further north than Race Street, especially if they’re visitors, so this stretch is hardly ever crowded. You’re definitely more likely to run into a doggie play date than packs of tourists. And the view from the 6th Street end isn’t too shabby either – a great way to get out of the hustle-and-bustle of Old City! So, bring a picnic blanket, bring a book, bring the dog, and be surprised.


From Center City: City Hall

Photo Credit: Mark Ayzenberg, Urban Artscapes Photography

There’s only a few spots that you can actually get up high enough in Center City itself to be part of the skyline. The addition of the Liberty Observation Deck in November will certainly add to the options, but for now, City Hall is one of the best options. The building itself is super impressive and is one of the most iconic sights in Philadelphia, but it’s always surprising how little people really know about it and its history. For example: it was the tallest habitable building in the whole world for 7 years! Right here in Philly! Amazing! We talk about City Hall a lot on our Center City Holiday Tour and it’s always great to give new info to people from the Philly area. To get up into the City Hall Tower, you’ll need to get a timed ticket from their Tour Information Center. The public is able to go up from 12pm – 4:15pm on weekdays, 9am-12pm for private school groups. It’s definitely worth a stop!

So that’s our round up of Secretly Awesome Skyline Views! If you missed the first installation, you can find it here. And check back next week – we’ve got more goodies coming!

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