Most travelers have shopping on their itinerary, but when traveling to America's first city, Philadelphia, many want an opportunity to fuse fashion with history! With over 157,940 square feet of the latest trends in fashion and home décor coupled with nearly 100 years of retailing history, Macy's Center City, located in the historic Wanamaker building, is a must-see destination for historians and shopping enthusiasts alike.
The Wanamaker Building
John Wanamaker pioneered the department store concept in Philadelphia when he founded Wanamaker's in 1866. Wanamaker's became the first department store to guarantee a refund policy and to be illuminated by electricity. In 1911, the lavish store became the first of its kind when Mr. Wanamaker built a 12-floor building and it was dedicated by President William Howard Taft on December 30.
Wanamaker Grand Court Organ
In 1909, Wanamaker purchased what was then known as the St. Louis World's Fair Pipe Organ. Several years later, it was installed in the Grand Court of the Wanamaker building. Recently restored and with nearly 28,500 pipes in total, the Grand Court Organ is the largest playable instrument in the world. A National Historic Landmark since 1980, the six manuals and plethora of pipes allow the Organ to encompass the capabilities of three symphony orchestras. Grand Court Organ concerts are performed twice daily, Monday through Saturday.
The Grand Court Eagle
Another point of interest from the St. Louis World's Fair is the bronze Wanamaker Eagle. Handmade in Frankfurt, Germany, The Eagle weighs 2,500 lbs and sits on a granite base in the Grand Court. The floor of the Grand Court had to be strengthened with girders to accommodate it. There are 1,600 feathers on the head alone, and 5,000 on the entire Eagle. This famous bird began a long-beloved Philadelphia tradition of rendezvousing in Center City with the saying "Meet me at the Eagle."
Let Macy's experts make learning fun! Special group programs package together savings, tips and exciting events for your group. Macy's can custom design private events catered to any group's needs. Group programs are by reservation only and are fee-based.
Macy's Historic Fusion Tour
Discover the magic of Macy's through this exciting new tour that fuses fashion and history. With over 157,900 square feet of the latest trends and more than 150 years of retailing history, Macy's Center City, located in the famed Wanamaker building, is an experience like no other!
Founded in 1866, John Wanamaker pioneered the department store concept in Philadelphia, and in 1911 opened the first of its kind. Now operated by Macy's, and steeped in R.H. Macy's great retailing traditions, the store was the first department store with electrical illumination (1878), first store with a telephone (1879), and the first store to install pneumatic tubes to transport cash and documents (1880).
Come explore the Magic of Macy's from a historical perspective on this hour-long journey followed by free time for shopping. All participants receive the Macy's Visitor Savings Pass Voucher. Cost varies based on number of guests.
Wanamaker Organ Experience Tour
Macy's and the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ have partnered together to bring you an exciting new behind the scenes tour. The Wanamaker Organ Experience Tour includes a walking tour of the historic Wanamaker Building plus an exclusive behind the scenes look at the world's largest operational organ. Tours are approximately 45 minutes in length and lead right up to an organ concert. All participants receive the Macy's Visitor Savings Pass Voucher. Cost varies based on number of guests.
The Magic of Macy's Living Classroom
This unique and exciting experiential program combines both a guide-led tour with real-time classroom experiences in:
- History Learn about one of America's first modern-day department stores!
- Political Science What U.S. President delivered the dedication address in 1911?
- Architecture Discover the qualities of the building's Florentine style!
- Music Catch a sneak-peak at the world's largest playable pipe organ!
- Business Management Did you know that John Wanamaker is credited as the first to coin the "Retailer's Rule"..."The customer is always right"?
- Home Economics Use your exclusive Macy's Visitor Discount when you purchase an Everyday Value item with your Macy's Gift Card - included with the program - and still get change!
This 90-minute program is the perfect addition for curriculum-based visits to Philadelphia, and guarantees a climate-controlled environment free of excessive heat, cold or rain. All participants receive the Macy's Visitor Savings Pass Voucher. Cost varies based on number of guests.
Macy's Star Shopper
Whether you're alone, or traveling with family or friends, you can pamper yourself, enjoy exclusive savings and even take home a souvenir of your visit. Ready to book this program? Visit ShopAmericaTours.com.
All programs can be extended to include an in-depth and behind-the-scenes look at the Wanamaker Organ, which will lead directly up to an enchanting 45-minute recital.
Don't see what you're looking for? Let Macy's custom-design an informative and entertaining program specific to the unique needs and interests of your group. With incredible resources not found in other department stores, unique programs can provide insights on everything from the newest fashions to beauty, from home styles to cooking seminars! For more information about Visitor programs and services be sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org.