A hub for all cultures, fine restaurant life, and outdoor extravaganza, Rittenhouse Square is an area in our city that attracts both locals and visitors! From its annual flower markets and outdoor concerts to co-workers gathering for lunch to children playing, you can see just about anything that has to deal with relaxing and enjoyment in this vicinity. Without a doubt, Rittenhouse Square is as historic as it is beautiful and truly captures the heart and soul of Philadelphia.
About Rittenhouse Square
The first home on the square was constructed in 1840, shortly followed by a building boom lasting into the 1850’s. As the century progressed, Rittenhouse Square became a fashionable neighborhood, home to many of the “Victorian aristocracy” of Philadelphia. Today, you can still find mansions from the era still alive and thriving.
A gem in its own, Rittenhouse Square Park is one of the original five open-space parks planned by William Penn in the late 17th century. It was originally called Southwest Square, but renamed Rittenhouse Square in 1825 after David Rittenhouse, a brilliant astronomer, patriotic leader, and descendant of William Rittenhouse. (Fun fact: He was also the first paper-maker in the city.)
Dining in the Square
The energy in this neighborhood is incomparable to any other, making restaurant and bar life essential. Some of the wonderful places to dine include:
- Barclay Prime
- Continental Midtown
- Walnut Room
- Twenty Manning
Rittenhouse Square is filled to the brim with many fine examples of public art. Not only can you find the works of art in galleries, but you can find them outdoors for all to see. Some of the pieces on display include:
- Lion Crushing a Serpent – by Antoine-Louis Barye. Located in the central plaza, it was created in 1832 and symbolizes the French Revolution. The bronze cast dates to 1890.
- Duck Girl – by Paul Manship. Created in 1911, this is a sculpture of a young girl carrying a duck under one arm.
- Billy – by Albert Laessle. A two-foot-high bronze statue of a billy goat halfway down the southwest walk.
- Evelyn Taylor Price Memorial Sundial – by Beatrice Penton. Located in the northeast walkway, this is a sculpture of two cheerful children who are holding a giant sundial in the shape of a sunflower head.
- Giant Frog – by Cornelia Van A. Chapin. Located in a flower bed between the sundial and the central plaza, this is a large and sleek granite amphibian.
- Eating and Drinking in Rittenhouse Square
For those that want to skip driving and looking for parking, Philly makes it easier than ever to visit the area. Some routes include:
- SEPTA Regional Rail – stops at Suburban Station
- PATCO Speedline – stops at 16th Street and Locust Street, 2 blocks east of the square
- SEPTA 9,12, 21, and 42 bus lines run west along Walnut Street, 17 runs north along 20th Street and south along 19th Street, 2 runs north along 16th Street and south along 17th Street
- SEPTA Subway-Surface Trolley Lines – station at 19th and Market Streets or Walnut and Locust
- Two taxi stands are located on the west side of the square
Curious about our listings in Rittenhouse Square? Contact The Mike McCann Team for more information to finding your Center City Home!