The Museum’s Main Gallery features the world’s largest walkable map of Philadelphia, based on a Rand McNally map from 2004. Visitors are encouraged to explore the sites and coordinates critical to Philadelphia’s diverse 330 year history. Walkabout worksheets provided by the Museum allow visitors to discover historical facts from selected sites that relate to objects on view in the Museum’s galleries.
The Main Gallery, the site of Museum programming and events, also features temporary installations relating to upcoming Museum activities.
The Main Gallery is also the core site of the Museum’s events and adult programming as well as a broad range of curriculum-based programs for elementary and secondary school students. Two main programs that occur in the gallery are Quest for Freedom, where students examine and discuss Philadelphia’s pivotal role in the national story of the anti-slavery movement in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Where in the World is Philadelphia?, an interactive educational program where students learn directions, map symbols, coordinates, and scale by finding important city landmarks and their own neighborhoods.
The completion of the Main Gallery is the third phase of the Museum’s grand re-opening, which began in February 2012. Once completed, the gallery will feature interactive technology aimed at animating the map and an exhibition dedicated to Philadelphia neighborhoods and the culture and history shared among them.