If you want to go inside the Civil War Library and Museum take this tour Thursday through Saturday.
William Penn laid out this immensely walkable city in five squares, including Rittenhouse, originally a pasture for livestock. Rittenhouse Square became a fashionable address in the mid-1800s and has been so ever since.
Start at the (1) northeast corner of the square at 18th and Walnut Streets and stroll down the pathway, admiring the greenery and rotating art shows. Exit on 19th Street, cross Spruce, and turn right on (2) DeLancey, one of the toniest residential streets in the city.
Proceed to the (3) Rosenbach Museum & Library (2008 and 2010 DeLancey; www.rosenbach.org) located in a pair of posh townhouses once owned by the Rosenbach brothers, collectors of rare books. Today, literary history lives there, most notably the original James Joyce manuscript of Ulysses, with the author’s notes scribbled in the margins.
Exit the museum, turn right on DeLancey, then right on 20th, then left on Pine Street. Go to the (4) Civil War Library and Museum (1805 Pine Street; www.cwurmuseum.org) with war memorabilia from rank-and-file soldiers to General Ulysses S. Grant, who briefly lived in Philadelphia.
Leave the museum, heading left on Pine, then left on 18th. Visit the (5) Philadelphia Art Alliance at 251 South 18th Street, where art, poetry, and dance coexist in a 1906 palazzo. Cross the street and stroll back into the square and walk back to the northeast corner. Pause to admire the (6) 1832 French bronze “Lion Crushing a Serpent” at 18th and Walnut Streets.
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