Independence Seaport Museum

Penn's Landing
211 South Columbus Blvd. & Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Contact Name: 
Alexis Furlong
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The museum was founded in 1960 by J. Welles Henderson and is home to one of the largest maritime art and artifact collections in North America.  Highlights include:

  • Permanent and temporary exhibits highlighting various aspects of maritime history and the importance of the Delaware River.

  • The J. Welles Henderson Research Center, which houses among many other collections:

    • The Pennsylvania Nautical School and Pennsylvania Maritime Academy materials.

    • The Barry-Hayes collection, which includes correspondence, journals, and financial papers of the Commodore John Barry and Patrick Hayes families (1723-1875).

    • The archives of the Seamen’s Church Institute, an agency created to benefit sailors in the Port of Philadelphia.

    • More than 12,000 volumes, 9,000 ship plans, and a significant collection of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, and charts.

  • Tours of two National Historic Landmark ships:

    • Cruiser Olympia served as Admiral Dewey’s flagship during the Battle of Manila Bay.  She is the oldest floating steel warship in the world.

    • Submarine Becuna, a World War II-era submarine.

  • Boat restoration and boatbuilding classes through the Seaport Boat Shop.

  • Educational programs for students, teachers, and visitors.