Ghetto to Gayborhood - Atlas Obscura

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ghetto to Gayborhood

Explore and learn about the evolution of Philadelphia's 'Gayborhood' with an expert in local LGBT history.

Philly’s Gayborhood grew out of Center City’s “20th century gay ghetto” to become a 21st-century inclusive and welcoming neighborhood.

Bob Skiba joins Atlas Obscura Society Philadelphia to talk about the “Spruce Street Boys” and Philadelphia’s pivotal role in the '60s Homophile Movement. We’ll explore the “Lurid Locust” Street of the '70s and the booming '80s club culture along Walnut and Chestnut Streets. Finally we’ll wander through the alleys and side streets of today’s Gayborhood, talking about bars, bookstores, and community spaces. After the walk, attendees have the option of more conversation with Bob Skiba over food and drinks at UBar.

About Bob Skiba

Bob Skiba served as the President of the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides for the past five years and now chairs the education committee there, training and certifying city tour guides. He is also the Curator of Collections at the John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives at the William Way Community Center. Bob writes several local LGBT history blogs and is the co-author of two books on Philadelphia history: Lost Philadelphia and Philadelphia Then and Now.

Additional Details

  • This is an outdoor walking tour which covers approximately one mile. 
  • In the event of inclement weather, attendees will be notified of an alternate date the evening before the walk.
  • Food and drink at UBar are not included in the tour cost.


Email John Pettit at

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.