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Rittenhouse Square - Philadelphia

Rittenhouse Square Rittenhouse Square Photo by rachel dale via Flickr

Rittenhouse Square was originally called Southwest Square, and was designed to be an open house square, and the first of its kind in the new nation. William Penn and Thomas Holme planned the park and bought up the property that ran alongside Paper Mill run. Soon thereafter in 1825 the park was renamed Rittenhouse Square after the astronomer and descendent of the first paper-maker in Philadelphia, David Rittenhouse. Of course, Rittenhouse is more than just another park. The neighborhood that surrounds the park is full of rich history and plenty of things to enjoy during your visit.

The Arts

Rittenhouse square has been a center of beauty and opulence since the first townhouse was built around it in 1811. Since then museums and art buildings have popped up all along the area. The Philadelphia Art Alliance and the Civil War and Underground Railroad museum are within walking distance from the park and help bring the culture and history of the area to the forefront.


Even though the original intent for the park was to become the center of a residential area, over the years corporate buildings and high rises surrounded it. Today, modern shops like Barnes and Noble, popular restaurants, and five star apartment buildings all surround the park. If you want to learn more about the rich history of this seemingly small park there are various plaques that hold information, and also the museums offer you detailed information.

Why visit Rittenhouse Square

Beautiful Sunny DayLocals and tourists alike enjoy Rittenhouse Square for its natural beauty and relaxing benches. Tourists often remark at how relaxing and enjoyable it is to simply people watch there in between shopping. Don’t miss visiting this wonderful park and the beauty it offers to visitors.