Old City Walking History Tour

Explore one of America’s most historic “walking city” in true walking city fashion – by foot. Big Red Pedal Tours’ Old City Walking History Tour will take you through 12 historic sites in Philadelphia’s famous Old City.

Join us for the photos, facts, and, as always, a few laughs along the way!

Route:

Routes subject to change without notice.

Start - Big Ass Slices

218 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

bigassslicesmenu.com
(215) 625-3955

Stop #1 - Christ Church

Christ Church is an Episcopal church in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia. It was founded in 1695 by members of the Church of England. The main body of the church was constructed between 1727 and 1744, and the steeple was added in 1754, making it the tallest building in the future United States of America, at 196 feet (60 m). Christ Church is considered one of the nation’s most beautiful surviving 18th-century structures, a monument to colonial craftsmanship and a handsome example of Georgian architecture. Christ Church’s congregation included 15 signers of the Declaration of Independence. American Revolutionary War leaders who attended Christ Church include George Washington, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross (after she had been read out of the Quaker meeting house to which she belonged for marrying John Ross, son of an assistant rector at Christ Church). Brass plaques mark the pews where these individuals once sat. Christ Church is a National Historic Landmark and a unique historic site that continues its original function as an Episcopal parish. More than 250,000 tourists visit the church each year.

Stop #2 - Elfreth's Alley

Elfreth’s Alley is a historic street in Philadelphia, dating back to 1702. As of 2012, there are 32 houses on the street, which were built between 1728 and 1836. The alley is a National Historic Landmark located in  Old City. Elfreth’s Alley is named after Jeremiah Elfreth, an 18th-century blacksmith and property owner. Among the alley’s residents were tradesmen and their families. In the 1770s, one-third of the households were headed by women. The Georgian and Federal-style houses and cobblestone pavement of the alley were common in Philadelphia during this time. In 1934, the Elfreth’s Alley Association (EAA) was founded to preserve the alley’s historic structures while interpreting the street’s 300-year history. The EAA helped save the street from demolition, and also lobbied the city to restore the alley’s name to “Elfreth’s Alley”; it had been designated as the 100 block of Cherry Street years before as part of a street-name simplification program. The alley is a tourist attraction and a rare surviving example of 18th-century working-class housing stock. The site stands in sharp contrast to the more frequently preserved grand mansion houses of Philadelphia’s Society Hill neighborhood

Stop #3 - Betsy Ross House

Betsy Ross House is a landmark in Philadelphia purported to be the site where the seamstress and flag-maker Betsy Ross (1752-1836) lived when she is said to have sewed the first American Flag. The origins of the Betsy Ross myth trace back to her relatives, particularly her grandsons. Evidence for the precise location of Ross’ home came from verification provided by several surviving family members. Although the house is one of the most visited tourist sites in Philadelphia, the claim that Ross once lived there, and that she designed and sewed the first American flag, sometimes called the Betsy Ross flag, are considered false by most historians. The front part of the building was built around 1740, in the Pennsylvania colonial style, with the stair hall and the rear section added 10 to 20 years later. Had she lived here, Ross would have resided in the house from 1776, the death of her first husband, John Ross, until about 1779.

Stop #4 - Christ Church Burial Ground

Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia is an important early-American cemetery. It is the final resting place of Benjamin Franklin and his wife, Deborah. Four other signers of the Declaration of Independence are buried here.

Stop #5 - The Philadelphia Mint

The Philadelphia Mint was created from the need to establish a national identity and the needs of commerce in the United States. This led the Founding Fathers of the United States to make an establishment of a continental national mint, a main priority after the ratification of the Constitution of the United States. Two blocks from the site of the first mint, the fourth and current Philadelphia Mint opened its doors in 1969. It was the world’s largest mint when it was built and held that distinction as of October 2017. The Philadelphia Mint can produce up to one million coins in 30 minutes.

Stop #6 - The National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the United States Constitution. The groundbreaking ceremony (attended by President Bill Clinton) was held on September 17, 2000, the 213th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. The center opened on July 4, 2003, joining other historic sites and attractions in what has been called “America’s most historic square mile because of its proximity to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. In 2006 the center became home to the Liberty Medal, an annual award established in 1988 to recognize “men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.

Stop #7 & #8 - President’s House / The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence. Once placed in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House (now renamed Independence Hall), the bell today is located in the Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. The bell was commissioned in 1752 by the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly The bell first cracked when rung after its arrival in Philadelphia. In its early years, the bell was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and to alert citizens about public meetings and proclamations. After American independence was secured, the bell fell into relative obscurity until, in the 1830s, the bell was adopted as a symbol by abolitionist societies, who dubbed it the “Liberty Bell”.

Stop #9 - Independence Hall

Independence Hall is the building where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. It is now the centerpiece of the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. The building was completed in 1753 as the Pennsylvania State House, and served as the capitol for the Province and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania until the state capital moved to Lancaster in 1799.Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are now protected in a secure zone with entry at security screening buildings. Independence Hall is pictured on the back of the U.S. $100 bill, as well as the bicentennial Kennedy half dollar. The Assembly Room is pictured on the reverse of the U.S. two-dollar bill.

Stop #10 - Carpenters' Hall

Carpenters’ Hall is the official birthplace of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a key meeting place in the early history of the United States. The First Continental Congress met here in 1774. Today, Carpenters’ Hall is free to the public, visited annually by more than 150,000 tourists from around the world. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970

Stop #11 - The First Bank

The First Bank building, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, within Independence National Historical Park, was completed in 1797, and is a National Historic Landmark for its historic and architectural significance. 

Stop #12 - Franklin Court

Franklin Court is complex of museums, structures, and historic sites within Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. The complex was designed by the firm of Venturi and Rauch, and opened in 1976 as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration. The site consists of the archaeological remnants of the Benjamin Franklin’s house and nearby buildings, “ghost” reconstruction of the form of the house and print shop, an underground museum focused on Franklin, and historic structures facing Market Street, including what are now a working post-office and printing-shop.

End - Big Ass Slices

218 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

bigassslicesmenu.com
(215) 625-3955

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