text: seven walking tours through historic Philadelphia

Memorial Hall & the Please Touch Mesuem

Memorial Hall exterior

The hall was one of the chief buildings of the Centennial Exposition of 1876 and was dedicated by President Grant. Memorializing the soldiers of the Revolution, the Hall cost $1.5 million to complete. An innovation that added to its expense was that it was built without wood and is fireproof. 729 sculptures from the U.S. and Europe were displayed for a year at Memorial Hall, which served as the city's art gallery before the Philadelphia Museum of Art was opened. The basement holds a complete scale model of the entire Centennial Exposition.

Since October 18, 2008, the Hall has served as home to the Please Touch Museum.

Proceed southeast (left as you leave the building) from Memorial Hall/ Please Touch Museum, along the Avenue of the Repoublic for a short distance (about 1000 ft) to the next stop on this tour, the Smith Memorial Arch.

Fairmount Park