Friday, May 5, 2023 – 4pm

WALK LEADER: Kathy Haas, Director of Historical Resources at Girard College
MEETING PLACE: By the Girard College sign, just outside the Girard College gate at the corner of Corinthian Ave and Girard Ave. This is near 15 & 33 bus stops or a 1/2 mile walk west from the Girard stop on the Broad Street line. The walk leader will be wearing a Girard College T-Shirt.
Free. Rain or shine. All are welcome.

On this historic walk through North Fairmount from Girard College to Eastern State Penitentiary, we will explore the many institutions including schools, hospitals, reformatories, and orphanages that have, and still do, call this neighborhood home.

Eastern State Penitentiary opened its doors in 1829, when what is now Fairmount was farmland. Girard College, a boarding school for financially-disadvantaged children, came soon after, with construction beginning in 1833. Over time, these two massive establishments were joined by a variety of institutions, from the Women’s Medical College to the first public school in Philadelphia designed specifically for students with physical disabilities.

Our tour will start at Girard College, celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, where we will step inside the walls to learn about the generations of students who have lived and learned here (and still do). We will then walk through the neighborhood, looking at sites of current and former institutions before ending at 22nd and Fairmount, at the corner of Eastern State Penitentiary.

Walk notes:

  • Accessibility considerations: Uneven terrain and city sidewalks.
  • The total walk distance covered will be about two miles.
  • Walk is estimated to take 2 hours, ending at 22nd and Fairmount.