Historic Building Tour Photo of Theater Space
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First Friday: FringeArts Historic Building Tour


140 N Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA
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Curious about what goes on behind the scenes at FringeArts? Interested in learning more about the history of our converted theater and restaurant? Join us for our first round of Historic Building Tours at FringeArts!

In 1903, Philadelphia became home to the first High Pressure Fire System. Water was pumped through independent mains and red fire hydrants located on sidewalks around the city. These fire plugs had the power to launch a two-inch stream 230 feet vertically at a moment’s notice. All of these plugs were connected to one central location: a high pressure pumping station on Columbus Blvd at Race Street, currently known as FringeArts headquarters. Decommissioned in 2005, the HPFS had led to a decline in fire losses and insurance premiums and served as the backbone to the Philadelphia Fire Department for over a century. Today, the words “High Pressure Fire Service” are still on our building, and there are over 900 defunct fire hydrants spread between the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers from Girard Avenue to South Street.

But this isn’t your average historic building tour. Get an inside look into our theater and studio spaces and learn more about how we’ve revamped the space to promote contemporary art as innovative as the history behind our building.

Grab a drink from La Peg and enjoy Happy Hour before or after your tour in Haas Biergarten. You can meet our staff members by the “About Our Building” sign inside La Peg to begin the tour.  Tours start at 5pm, 6pm, and 7pm, and run 15-20 minutes at a time. The first Historic Building Tours take place Friday, June 1st.

Join us afterward for a performance by Barcode Circus Company at 8pm, as part of Hand to Hand Circus Festival. Learn more here!