Sight unseen: CityLove tours by National Trust for Historic Preservation

The north facade of the mansion, as seen from the nearby carriage circle, which replaced William Hamilton's greenhouse. RYAN COLLERD / Courtesy of the Woodlands

The city of Brotherly Love is known world-wide for its rich history, and famous locations throughout the city. For tourists and locals, sites like the Betsy Ross House— the birth of the American Flag—and Elfreth’s Alley—the oldest residential street in America—have been memorable attractions that help us soak in Historical Philadelphia. What many people overlook is that there are dozens of historic locations in Philadelphia that are often forgotten, from churches to spray painted walls: there are memorable pieces everywhere around us. Beginning on Saturday, June 14 through Friday June 20, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is hosting CityLove, a tour of Philadelphia that is less travelled. Best part about CityLove, it’s free.

Railroad buffs will not want to miss out on the historic Reading Viaduct Tour located in the Loft District of Philadelphia. This detailed tour will show you one of the most industrialized rail corridors in the world, which served as a major supplier to the Reading Terminal. Viewers will also get an in-depth look at the plans of a signature park being built by Friends of the Rail Park organization. Tours are on Saturday, June 14 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Wednesday, June 18 at 4 p.m.

A hidden gem often travelled by is the 19th Baptist Church located in Rittenhouse Square. Dating back to 1874, discover the stunning gothic architecture designed by architects Frank Furness and Heorge W. Hewitt. If you’re lucky, you may find an angel inside the building. Tours are on Saturday, June 14 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Get locked up in fun at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Fairmount as one of the largest events of CityLove takes place on Saturday, June 14 6:30 p.m. through 9:00 p.m. Visit Al Capone’s cell, take exclusive photos in special accessed areas, and enjoy a few surprises throughout the night.

Travel to the outskirts of the city in Elkins Park and feast your eyes upon the Beth Sholom Synagogue, the only synagogue designed by American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. This one-of-a-kind house of peace will have you in awe as you tour the notable shape inside and outside of the temple. Tours are on Sunday, June 15 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

With a diverse, urban culture in Philadelphia, the graffiti world has dominated walls and areas throughout our city. One of the most notable places to view street art is Graffiti Pier, a run-down coal pier in South Philadelphia that is now an ever-changing canvas of color. Tours are on Sunday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Philadelphia is a beautiful city to view on standing ground, but if you haven’t seen it in elevation, you’re missing out! See Philadelphia at a bird’s-eye view next to the famous statue of William Penn during Top of the Town at City Hall in Center City on Monday, June 16 at 11 a.m. Tours will also be offered on Friday, June 20 at 11 a.m.

Bring an extra camera battery or disposal camera as you take in 54 acres of British history including a mansion tour, a historic cemetery, and an 18th-century English pleasure garden all located at the Woodlands Estate in West Philadelphia. Fun Fact: The building was inherited by William Hamilton, from his grandfather and famous Philadelphia lawyer, Andrew Hamilton in 1776. The tour takes place on Monday, June 16 at 6 p.m.

Cook up some great photos during an exclusive tour of the Cliveden House kitchens in Historic Germantown. Make way through two 18th century kitchens, and explore a classic mint-green modern kitchen from the 1950’s. Tours are on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 17 and 18 at 6:30 p.m.

If your weekend schedule was booked, or you want another taste of prison, a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary in Fairmount will be held on Wednesday, June 18 at 12 p.m. The tour will feature special-accessible areas, along with locations above and underground.

Rounding up the week of free tours is an exclusive party at The Foundry, a former factory space in North Philadelphia turned into a restored masterpiece by the Philadelphia Salvage Design Company. Guests will receive a tour of the factory, chow down on signature Philly foods, and enjoy live music throughout the night. Before you ask, yes, it’s free. The party takes place on Friday, June 20 at 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Sign-ups for all events are required and are open until June 8. Register here.