Founder's Hall Museum

Stephen Girard – merchant, banker and landowner – was the wealthiest man in American when he died in 1831. In an unprecedented act of philanthropy, he left his fortune to establish Girard College, originally endowed to educate “poor, white male orphans.”

Housed in a magnificent Greek Revival landmark, the Founder’s Hall Museum offers a glimpse into the complex life of America’s first multi-millionaire and illuminates the legacy of a school which has fascinated visitors since the 19th century, became the focus of a key Northern civil rights case in the 20th century, and continues to educate youth today.

Museum Open Hours

Walk-in museum hours are Wednesday-Friday 10-4.
Other dates/times are available by appointment.

The museum is self guided and visitors are welcome to stop by for as long or as little as they’d like.  No appointment is necessary during walk in hours, but because Girard College is an active school, all visitors must check in with security upon entering the campus. Also note that Founder’s Hall is a historic structure and stairs are unavoidable to visit the museum.

Weekend Openings
Founder’s Hall will be hosting weekend museum open hours on the following dates:

  • Saturday April 20, 12-4
  • Saturday May 18, 12-4

Virtual Tours

If you can’t make it to campus, you can explore the museum on your own through our virtual tour


Architectural Tours for the International Day for Monuments and Sites: April 18, 10-11:30 AM & 2-3:30 PM
Did you know Philadelphia is home to 67 of the country’s 2,618 National Historic Landmarks? On Tuesday, April 18, many of Philadelphia’s landmarks will offer special events as part of an annual celebration of the International Day of Monuments and Sites (IDMS) organized by the Global Philadelphia Association.

We will be celebrating IDMS with a guided architectural tour of Founder’s Hall with Director of Historical Resources Kathy Haas. We’ll look at the monumental architecture of this majestic building, a National Historic Landmark, and visit some behind-the-scenes spaces that allow an up-close look at its construction. We will also talk about the recently-completed Founder’s Hall revitalization project, which has made this 1848 building more usable for its 21st century visitors and received a Grand Jury Award from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

Register for 10 AM tour on Eventbrite

Register for 2 PM tour on Eventbrite

Historical Campus Tours
Join us in-person for a guided walking tour of the Girard College campus to explore its history and architecture and learn about the ongoing work of the school. Register on Eventbrite.

  • Wed April 24, 2-3 PM
  • Fri May 3, 1-2 PM (in collaboration with the annual Janes Walk Philly celebration)
  • Thurs May 23, 10-11 AM

What’s Behind The Wall? Spring Celebration: May 6, 3-7 PM
We are excited to partner with Museum Studies students from the University of the Arts on an afternoon of exploration, learning, reflection, and fun! This community event will feature a range of activities, including chess tournaments, sunset yoga, and a drum circle. Special mini-tours led by U. Arts students will occur throughout the day, focusing on different themes in the museum, and the galleries will be open for self-guided visits all afternoon.

Quiet rooms and drop-in art and game activity spaces make the event space open to everyone!

  • Mini-tours start at 3:15pm, running every 15 minutes
  • 3:30pm – Chess tournament
  • 4pm – Drum circle lead by Teyanna Stone
  • 5:30 – Chess tournament
  • 6pm – Yoga session
  • Drop in art activities 3pm-7pm
  • Drop-in board games 3pm-7pm

(events and  timings are subject to change)

This event is hosted by MA Museum Studies students from the University of the Arts, in conjunction with Founder’s Hall Museum and the Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia, with special support from community partners.

Explore the Founder’s Hall Museum at Girard College using the links below:

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Research and Catalogs

Resources for

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Our Founder

Stephen Girard

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Architecture and Campus