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Independence Seaport Museum

211 South Columbus Boulevard and Walnut Street

Founded in 1960 as the Philadelphia Maritime Museum, Independence Seaport Museum is the region's primary repository of art, artifacts and archival materials documenting the diverse maritime history of the Greater Delaware Valley, and the history of the Port of Philadelphia and the other major urban ports of the Delaware River.

The Museum was incorporated in 1961 and began serving the public with small exhibitions and through the assemblage of a library, archival materials and collections. In 1974 the Museum moved to larger quarters within the Independence Park Historic District. At the same time, the Museum opened the Workshop on the Water - a fully operational boat building facility used for display and teaching purposes - on Penn's Landing, which not only established a strong institutional waterfront presence, but also became an anchor attraction for the revitalization of the historic waterfront area.

A new location on Penn's Landing became economically viable when the City of Philadelphia's Port of History building became available. A $15 million renovation and expansion on the building began in January 1994, and the new facility with increased exhibition, educational, library and storage/curatorial space and an incorporated Workshop on the Water opened to the public in July 1995, renamed as Independence Seaport Museum. In January 1996, the Museum assumed the responsibility for Olympia, Admiral Dewey's famed flagship during his victory at the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898, and the World War II submarine, Becuna, both of which are National Historic Landmarks.

Today, the Independence Seaport Museum is an anchor attraction on Penn's Landing, attracting visitors to experience both Philadelphia's heritage and current waterfront. The Museum educates area youth groups through interactive programs in its boat shop, presents changing exhibits in its galleries and hosts visiting ships and events year-round.


Freeman Willoughby

Sunday, June 17, 2018
Very COOL Museum!! It has some Awesome Ship models and with the Tickets you can take tour of Submarine and Cruiser OLYMPIA!! Terrific Place to take the kids or if your a big kid at heart like me :) I had a GREAT Time! Plus, Penn's Landing is Beautiful...Lots of things to Eat there and/or just relax on hammock at Spruce Street Harbor Park...GO You will have FUN!!

Jessica Howard

Thursday, May 31, 2018
We were pleasantly surprised by this! We wandered along the front from the bus stop at Penn’s Landing, and all had a blast. My kids (8 and 4) were both super engaged with the displays inside (especially the sailing ship replica that kids can play on), and I thought the Barbary history was fascinating. All of us enjoyed the submarine and ship walk-throughs, and it was pretty hilarious to watch my very tall husband get through the submarine doorways.

Michael Richardson

Saturday, June 30, 2018
Excellent museum experience. The boat, submarine and museum collectively are a fascinating insight into America’s maritime past. I would emphasize that neither the boat or submarine are suitable for people with any kind of mobility issues. If you are even slightly claustrophobic steer clear of the submarine.

Louis Chang

Friday, June 1, 2018
Very cool museum especially if you're into ships. Hands on area for kids was really nice. Amazing history and craftsmanship on display, well worth a visit if you're at Penn's Landing!

Fred Alluso

Sunday, April 29, 2018
A bustling seaport that serves as a museum and entertainment/dining destination for all in the city. The area is peppered with very interesting educational and historical signage. The waterfront is clean and admission passes to the museum will also get you access to some of the maritime vessels anchored along the waterfront.

Independence Seaport Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media