Two-hour tour exposes challenge of Germantown’s treasures

December 2, 2009

It’s a problem that has dogged Philadelphia’s Germantown section for decades: traveling by in their cars, precious few tourists take time to stop and admire the 18th-century mansions and historic landmarks that dot this mixed urban landscape.

Why? To answer that question and more, two Temple professors took their American Studies classes on the road.

In what was billed as a “windshield tour” of Germantown, 25 students viewed nine historic sites from the windows of their bus.

According to Seth Bruggeman, assistant professor of history and director of Temple’s Public History Program, the two-hour tour was meant to impress upon the students the sheer size and scope of the challenges faced by house museums in this part of the city — in particular their distance from Center City Philadelphia’s historic district.

– Kim Fischer
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