Logan Square is an upscale residential, commercial, educational and art center located in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. Defining landmarks include the Swann Memorial Fountain with its water-spouting bronze sculptures and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where you may catch a glimpse of marathon runners or watch the Thanksgiving Day parade.
If thinking of moving to the area, enrolling in one of the four universities or already a resident and want tips on popular places to visit and things to do in Philadelphia is your guide. Cultural attractions, parks, restaurants, bars and where to launch a kayak on the Schuylkill River plus much more are all described below.
Main Attractions in Logan Square
As defined by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, “The Logan Square neighborhood includes the area north of Market Street, south of Spring Garden Street, west of Broad Street and east of the Schuylkill River.” It has 10 Pre-K and elementary schools, two colleges and four universities: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Devry University, Strayer University and Drexel University College of Medicine.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Franklin Institute and Barnes on the Parkway are all located here on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Art and art history are a strong element of the neighborhood, both in the educational institutions and public spaces. The area is also referred to as the ‘Art Museum District’.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art takes much pride in its collections and educational programs, as it should. Is has the world’s largest collection of works by Marcel Duchamp, finest collection of Auguste Rodin’s sculpture in the U.S. and American art creations by shakers and Pennsylvania Germans who played a central role in the history of the city. The museum opened in 1928, has ‘pay as you wish’ hours on Sunday and Wednesday.
The Franklin Institute is a science museum and educational facility. Science and technology learning programs are tops here. There is a mirror maze to help understand mathematical patterns of the universe, stargazing at the observatory and an IMAX theater. Would you like to know how 3D printing impacts space travel?
For the hobby artist there are many art and craft shops to purchase supplies and take a class or two. To learn more about these and other highlights of the neighborhood including a calendar of events click here: Logan Square Neighborhood Association.
Parks and Greenspaces in Logan Square
In addition to Swann Fountain where locals splash in the water during hot summer months, the area has many tree-filled oases. Sisters Cities Park is located between the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Pennsylvania Museum of Art. On Thursdays you can bring your own bottle (BYOB) and enjoy singer-songwriter live music. There is also the Logan Square Cafe for a lite meal or snack and Children’s Discovery Garden for the kids to explore.
Aviator Park is on the parkway near the Franklin Museum. The Academy of Natural Sciences hosts educational events here and you pay what you can for yoga classes on Saturday. Public artwork displays include The Aero Memorial and All Wars Memorial.
John F. Kennedy Plaza aka Love Park with its famous red, stacked four-letter LOVE statue is at the entrance of the parkway, welcoming all who enter. The plaza was designed by Edmund Bacon, father of actor Kevin Bacon and a famous Philadelphia city planner. Food trucks hawk their culinary wares and there is a welcome center and gift shop.
The namesake of the neighborhood, Logan Square Park, is where Swann Fountain is located. It is often referred to as Logan Circle, representing the traffic circle that was built with construction of the parkway. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
Schuylkill Banks on the Waterfront
Green spaces in urban areas are important – for residents and the environment alike – but so is water. Water is calming, relaxing. Gives a sense of tranquility. An antidote to living what can be a hectic, harried lifestyle. Something beautiful to look at and experience that is connected to nature, not slabs of concrete.
In Logan Square you have the lovely Schuylkill Banks area. Eight miles of scenic riverfront walking and biking trails plus a multitude of activities year-round. There is kayaking, standup paddleboarding, picnic areas, yoga classes and fishing with 40 species of fish waiting to take a nibble on your bait. During summertime there are outdoor movie screenings.
To learn more about Schuylkill Banks, activities on offer and annual events click here: Schuylkill Banks.
Restaurants and Bars in Logan Square
If walking around Logan Square and want to enjoy a relaxing meal, espresso or stiff drink you have an abundance of establishments to choose from. Want to know a few that others think are tops? Check out these listed below, some have more than 1000 positive reviews on Yelp. One – Pete’s Famous Pizza – has been featured on On The Road, a Food Network T.V. show.
For Italian food – Stromboli anyone? – there is Barbuzzo located at 110 S. 13th St. or Pete’s Famous Pizza at 116 N. 21st St.
Sabrinas Cafe & Spencer’s Too is the place to go for breakfast and brunch, located at 1804 Callowhill St. Another cafe option is Rose Tattoo Cafe at 1847 Callowhill St. They serve American food as well as dessert and wine.
Zagat’s restaurant review recommends Chima Steakhouse and says to “come hungry.” It is located at 1901 John F. Kennedy Blvd. Another highly-rated option for large slabs of beef is Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse at 1337 Chestnut St.
British gastropub The Dandelion has 1605 positive reviews on Yelp. It is located in Rittenhouse Square, 124 S. 18th St. If on a pub crawl, head to the Cherry Street Tavern next, 129 N. 22nd St. For more suggestions on where to eat and drink, click here: Visit Philadelphia: Logan Square.
Now you are ready for a visit, or to get out of the house and find some new favorite spots in your favorite city. Make sure you check out these tips to consider before relocating. Enjoy.