Philadelphia Sights

American-Swedish Historical Museum

  • 1900 Pattison Ave. Map It
  • South Philadelphia

Published 05/18/2015

Fodor's Review

Near the sports complex in deep South Philly, this neoclassical building with big stone arches in FDR Park celebrates Swedish contributions to American history. The Swedes settled the Delaware Valley in the mid-1600s, and it was a pair of Swedish brothers who owned the land William Penn bought and called Philadelphia. This museum is set amid architectural remnants of the nation's 1926 Sesquicentennial Exposition (a complete disaster, it attracted no one). Modeled after a 17th-century Swedish manor house, it features galleries that concentrate on a certain era or particularly industrious character. The John Ericsson Room honors the designer of the Civil War ironclad ship the Monitor, and the Jenny Lind Room contains memorabilia from the Swedish Nightingale's American tour of 1848–51. One exhibition details Alfred Nobel's career. Other rooms display handmade costumed Swedish peasant dolls, crafts, paintings, and drawings. It's not the most exciting place, but the weird location and building, combined with its examination of forgotten but essential history, make it an interesting visit. You can take the Orange Line subway down Broad Street to Pattison Avenue; when you get out, cross Broad Street and walk five blocks west through the park to the museum.

Sight Information


1900 Pattison Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19145, United States

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Sight Details:

  • $6 adults, $5 students/seniors, children 12 and under free
  • Tues.–Fri. 10–4, weekends 12–4

Published 05/18/2015


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