By the Numbers: The Rotunda

The Rotunda, at 4014 Walnut St., is a community-gathering place fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change, and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between Penn and surrounding neighborhoods.

The Rotunda

Greg Johnson

Part of the Facilities and Real Estate Services Arts Portfolio, The Rotunda showcases live music, film, dance, theater, poetry, visual art, healing arts, rehearsals, classes, lectures, youth enrichment programs, and related events. The building was recently added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places by the Philadelphia Historical Commission.

In this edition of By The Numbers, we groove on art at The Rotunda.

1911

Year in which The Rotunda was built. Designed by New York-based firm Carrere and Hastings, it was originally a house of worship for the First Church of Christ Scientist.

300-plus

Number of events held at The Rotunda each year. The back space (or main room) has hosted artists such as Matisyahu, Spoon, John Legend, and Wiz Khalifa.

1996

Year in which Penn purchased The Rotunda building. The University explored several redevelopment options, such as retail use, a radio station, and a restaurant, before forming The Foundation Community Arts Initiative.

125

Seating capacity of The Rotunda; standing capacity is 350.

1,500

Weight, in pounds, of the Tiffany chandelier in The Rotunda’s circular main hall, also known as the sanctuary. The sanctuary is much larger than the back space, and is the inspiration for the building’s name.

1999

Year in which The Rotunda held its first event: a free, all-ages jazz concert open to the public.

Originally published on June 7, 2012