New in Philadelphia

What's New in Philadelphia - Spring/Summer 2019

A fashion district, historic buildings transformed for entertainment and shopping, the new Four Seasons Hotel inside Philadelphia's tallest building, and city parks filled with art, gardens, and entertainment for all ages.

East Market/Fashion District Philadelphia

Photo courtesy of Fashion District Philadelphia.

The $800 million renovations of East Market is well underway for the section of Philadelphia that has been called “America’s hottest retail corridor” by JLL. The 4.3 acres renovated expanse will feature stores and restaurants and a pedestrian-friendly streetscape with greenery, entertainment, food trucks and more, just steps away from the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Adjacent to this space will be Fashion District Philadelphia, a mix of retail, dining, and entertainment, scheduled to open in fall 2019.

The New Bourse

Photo by N. Santos courtesy of the Bourse

Once home to the country’s first commodities exchange, the historic Bourse has been transformed into a hip food and shopping destination in historic Old City. The 1891 Beaux Arts building received a $40 million facelift to accommodate new, local artisanal food, drink, and retail vendors and outdoor seating. The four anchor tenants and 29 food stall vendors will offer diverse eats like poke, tacos, juices, ramen, Halal Egyptian fare, and Filipino comfort food. You can also sample spirits and cocktails from the region’s Bluebird Distilling.

The Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia

Photo by J. Pellegrini for Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia.

Crowning the new Comcast Technology Center – the tallest building in Philadelphia – is the new Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. It is now one of the tallest hotels in the U.S. that includes 219 guest rooms and 39 suites which all include Comcast’s award-winning X1 Video Experience. Plus the hotel has a luxury full-floor spa and an indoor infinity pool on the 57th floor. Guests will have access to an express glass elevator that will bring them directly to the property.

Also on-site are restaurants from James Beard Award-winner Greg Vernick and Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Their new fine-dining spot on the 59th and 60th floor have forty-foot floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic city views. Designed by legendary architect Norman Foster, the Comcast Technology Center has a five-story winter garden and 120-foot illuminated lantern that sits atop the building.

The Four Seasons Philadelphia is now accepting reservations from arrivals starting August 12, 2019.

The Met Philadelphia

Photo courtesy of the Met Philadelphia

Occupying the former Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera House on North Broad Street, the Met Philadelphia has transformed from the 1908 Oscar Hammerstein-designed building into a modern performance venue. Over the years, the opulent space has served many purposes beyond its original—including a movie theater, sporting center, vocational school, gospel concert hall and finally a church. The historic building received a $56 million facelift and is now the city’s largest performance stage and theatrical auditorium. The theater reopened in December 2018 and is managed by Live Nation.

Independence Visitor Center Enhancements

Photo courtesy of the Independence Visitor Center.

As the official visitor center of greater Philadelphia and gateway to Independence National Historical Park, the Independence Visitor Center provides a welcoming first impression to 2.5 million visitors each year. To provide an informative, interactive and 21st-century orientation experience, the Visitor Center underwent a $15 million renovation, which has just been completed.

Renovations and upgrades include:

  • The Philly Welcome Wall, is an interactive digital wall is 42-feet and displays content about Philadelphia that visitors can explore via touchscreen
  • The first HERSHEY’S Kitchens location in Philadelphia, featuring both savory and sweet menu items like made-to-order s’mores
  • An 8-minute free film featuring sites and attractions and is played daily in an open-walled theater
  • A mezzanine-level, outdoor terrace with unparalleled views of Independence Mall for capturing the perfect selfie
  • The official gift shop of Philadelphia, featuring iconic souvenirs like the LOVE statue and Rocky memorabilia
  • An exhibit space and digital screens featuring Independence National Historical Park
  • And environmentally friendly, accessible public restrooms, including a dedicated caregiver room.

Cherry Street Pier

Photo by M. Young

The warehouse on centuries-old Municipal Pier 9, just south of Race Street Pier, has been redeveloped into a sprawling mixed-use public space. Much of the original structure has been preserved, including the original stone headhouses and exposed ceiling beams, creating a cool, industrial vibe. Cherry Street Pier is a collaborative creative space for artists and entrepreneurs, includes an open-air garden, performance space, food vendors, pop-up shops and more for visitors, open year-round. 

The Rail Park

Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB

Take a stroll, ride a bike or just relax on one of the many swinging benches along the Rail Park. Phase one of this three-mile linear park was recently completed, with a quarter-mile now open daily and free to the public from 7 a.m.–10 p.m. The park is transforming unused rail lines into a beautiful public space that can host pop-up beer gardens, art exhibits, community programming and more. Future phases include additional elevated sections that offer standout city views as well as a walled, below-street-level section and a tunneled portion with vaulted brick ceilings and open air shafts providing natural light. The Rail Park’s entrance at 1300 Noble Street is wheelchair accessible and just steps from the Pennsylvania Convention Center. A second staircase entrance can be found on Callowhill between 11th and 12th streets.

River Alive! at Independence Seaport Museum

Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB

Philadelphia’s maritime museum welcomes a new 4,000-square-foot permanent exhibition that explores the Delaware River Watershed and the sophisticated science used to study it. Enjoy multiple interactive experiences such as the watershed map, Citizen Science Lab and Fisharium, to better understand the watershed and threats to it. The exhibit’s programming also connects to the museum’s recently expanded dock on Penn’s Landing.

Franklin Square

Photo courtesy of

One of the original five public squares built by Pennsylvania founder William Penn, Franklin Square is a popular spot for families, with its sprawling playground, Philadelphia-themed mini golf course and fast-casual dining spot SquareBurger. Debuting this summer is a new light and music show at the square’s iconic fountain, with waterworks, LED lighting and five water effects (think geysers and air-powered nozzles). The free shows will run day and night. 

Untitled by Amy Sherald

Photo by K. Huff for PHLCVB.

A massive new mural has been completed by Mural Arts Philadelphia on Sansom Street between 11th and 12th streets in the city’s Gayborhood. Completed by Amy Sherald, who also painted Michelle Obama’s official portrait that is displayed in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the untitled portrait stands 5 stories high and was hand-painted. There are so many other fascinating and beautiful murals around Philadelphia. Learn more about why Philadelphia is a City of Murals.

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