Philadelphia Literary Sites

Detail of The Dream Garden (1914-15) in the Curtis Center
Sites of interest to the bibliophile in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.

Benjamin Franklin House
Lippincott Publishing Company
This site marks the spot where Benjamin Franklin's house once stood. An underground museum completes the experience with film, displays, and an archaeological/architectural exhibit, complete with an 18th century printing office.

Lippincott Publishing Company (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins)
Tracing its origins to a bookstall started in 1792, this publisher began as a seller of Bibles, prayer books, and religious works. Today,
after changes in ownership and mergers, the publisher sells medical and health material for physicians, nurses, and students.

Curtis Publishing Company
Founded in 1891, this publishing company was one of the largest and most influential publishers of the 20th century. The headquarters building itself is an excellent example of Georgian Revival architecture and features a Tiffany glass mosaic designed by Maxfield Parrish.

Edgar Allan Poe House
The author lived here with his wife Virginia and mother-in-law Maria Clemm from 1843-1844 during his five year stay in the city. His time in Philadelphia produced some of his most well-known works, including "The Tell-Tale Hear" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue."

Library Company of Philadelphia
Started by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, the Library Company is America's first lending library and one of its oldest cultural institutions. The library continues to serve the public of Philadelphia to this day.

The American Poetry Review
Founded in 1972, this publication became one of the most widely circulated poetry magazines ever within its first five years. The magazine boasts its headquarters near City Hall in Center City.

Rosenbach Library and Museum
This home of Phillip and A.S.W. Rosenbach features items from the brothers' personal collections of rare books, manuscripts, prints, and drawings in the setting of an 1860s townhouse.

Free Library of Philadelphia Special Collections
The main branch of the Free Library on the Ben Franklin Parkway boasts one of the largest rare book departments open to the public. The department hosts frequent exhibitions of items from their collection.

Charles Dickens and Little Nell / Photo by Deborah Bishov
Eastern State Penitentiary

Since it was first built in 1829, the prison has been the subject and setting of numerous books, both fiction and non-fiction.

Dickens Statue in Clark Park
This 1890 sculpture of the British author and one of the characters from his novel The Old Curiosity Shop was purchased in 1896 by the Fairmount Park Art Association for the beautification of Clark Park. Dickens' 200th birthday was celebrated at Clark Park February 5, 2012. The Dickens birthday celebration is an annual event.

Walt Whitman House
American poet Walt Whitman lived at this Camden, New Jersey house from 1873 until his death in 1892. Whitman came to love his final home and the city of Camden writing, "Camden was originally an accident—but I shall never be sorry. I was left over in Camden. It has brought me blessed returns."

Louisa May Alcott Birthplace (Historical Marker)
Located at 5425 Germantown Avenue, this placard marks the site of the birthplace of the author of Little Women, now home to the Cunningham Piano Company.

Page by Megan Sheffer
Last updated 11/26/12