Rittenhouse Square is the most famous park in the City, the centerpiece for luxury high-rise condominiums and townhomes of the affluent, fine hotels and restaurants, outdoor cafes, and upscale shops. One of the five original squares planned by William Penn during the late 17th century, once named Southwest Square in 1825, it was later changed to Rittenhouse Square, after David Rittenhouse, for his renowned contributions to the city and the country. In the 1900’s the area around the Square came into its own as the premier residential district of Center City Philadelphia “the place where the city’s most wealthy and influential people lived.” By the 1950’s many of the large homes around the Square were converted into luxury apartments (now premier luxury condominium residences) and hotels. Through the efforts of the Friends of Rittenhouse Square with the Fairmount Park Commission, the Square remains a beautiful landscaped setting for people to meet and children and pets to play amongst the many bronze statues that have been erected in honor of their donors. It is interesting to note that the Square as well as other parts of the City have a lot of European influence that was inspired by the 18th & 19th century Philadelphia aristocrats and architects who visited France and Italy.

Delancey Place is recognized as the most prestigious address in the City, named after the Right Reverend William Heathcote DeLancey (1797-1865) and is known as “The Belle of Rittenhouse Square!” The townhomes of the 1800 and 2000 blocks of Delancey are noteworthy because of their palatial size and variety of architectural styles including Second Empire Victorian, Italianate, Georgian Revival, Classical Revival, Queen Anne and Victorian Gothic, the personal style of Frank Furness (1839-1912). The renowned Rosenbach Museum resides on the 2000 block and the wonderful carriage house blocks of 17th and 19th Delancey have been converted into fabulous contemporary interiors while preserving their historical facades. The Preservation Alliance of Philadelphia offers guided walking tours of the area by appointment.

Rittenhouse Square children are zoned in the public school catchment area of the Albert M. Greenfield School (co-ed K through 8) located at 22nd & Chestnut Streets with state-of-the-art library and thriving mentally gifted program. Other options include area private schools such as The Philadelphia School (co-ed) located at 2501 Lombard Street offering Pre-K through 8th grade and providing a progressive vibrant learning philosophy and Friends Select (co-ed) at 1651 Ben Franklin Parkway a Pre-K through 12th grade independent school and the only Quaker school in center city!

Rittenhouse Square area has been designated by the Philadelphia Historical Commission and The U.S. National Register of Historic Places retaining its character and charm through the ages. Enjoy the beauty of the Square, the culture, entertainment and all it has to offer!

Neighborhood Resources