US Naval ships were built and repaired in this yard up until 1996. Although the Navy continues to house decommissioned vessels here, the site now functions as a business campus for companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Urban Outfitters, whose headquarters stands in the shadow of the mammoth aircraft carrier John F Kennedy. It's worth visiting for the ships alone, but there's also a great combination of historical and contemporary architecture, plus an attractive 4.5-acre park.

Central Green was designed by landscape architect James Corner (of New York City High Line fame) and includes a running track, ping-pong tables, hammocks and yellow painted Adirondack chairs. Beside the park is 1200 Intrepid, a striking piece of contemporary architecture by Bjarke Ingels – the office building's angled concrete facade recalls both a giant wave and the bow of a ship.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Philadelphia attractions

1. FDR Park

0.73 MILES

The attractive 340-acre FDR Park includes fields and lakes, making it the perfect spot to relax in greenery-starved South Philadelphia. Locals love to…

2. American Swedish Historical Museum

0.89 MILES

The oldest Swedish-American museum in the US was founded in 1926. Its handsome building, designed by Swedish-American architect John Nydén, is partly…

3. Electric Street

2.75 MILES

Best visited at twilight when its neon colors have an inky blue sky backdrop, this installation is a collaborative work by mural artist David Guinn and…

4. Simeone Automotive Foundation Museum

3.03 MILES

The best time to visit this museum that pays homage to historic racing sports cars is when they take some of their 65-plus motors out for a spin on their…

5. Mummers Museum

3.04 MILES

Learn to tell your Fancy Brigades from your String Bands at this fun museum devoted to the unique tradition of Philadelphia Mummery. Reflecting the many…

6. South 9th Street Italian Market

3.11 MILES

One of the most vibrant parts of South Philadelphia, this several-blocks-long commercial strip is lined with produce stalls that sell their wares under…

7. Frank Rizzo Mural

3.15 MILES

A giant mural of ex-mayor Frank Rizzo overlooks the Italian Market parking lot on the corner of Montrose St. It's one of the most regularly vandalized…

8. Gloria Dei Church


Philadelphia's original settlers were Swedish Lutherans and this is the site of one of their first churches, built between 1698 and 1700. It's made of…