Y’all know me well enough by now to know that I’m borderline obsessed with observatories (see: New York, Boston, San Francisco, New York again and again). So I’m sure you can imagine my sheer delight at discovering Philadelphia’s One Liberty Observatory Deck, which opened just last year. How perfect for my one-day adventure last month!
Except… it wasn’t. One Liberty is my least favorite of the observatories I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. It felt dark – whether it was the windows themselves or the carpet and walls, I can’t say. It’s structured so you can’t get right up against the windows, and frankly, there’s not much to do besides look out the windows. I strongly believe that if you’re going to charge someone to go up high in a building, you should provide more than views – there were a handful of displays with random facts about Philly, and two areas with about two-minute informational tracks on repeat, but that was it. I stuck around for over an hour taking photos just to feel like I had gotten my money’s worth.
In spite of this, I got some cool photos. And in the interest of staying positive: The architecture was incredible, and there was an offbeat sculpture of Benjamin Franklin the likes of which I’d never seen.
To be honest, I’m sure you’ve already gathered that I don’t really recommend a visit to One Liberty Observatory Deck. But if you do want to check it out for yourself, tickets are $19 and are available online or in person (there was no line when I went, and now I can see why). And hey, if you go and have a different opinion – please tell me! I don’t like it when I don’t like observatories.
What’s your FAVORITE observatory?