Tenderloin at the Trestle - Atlas Obscura
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tenderloin at the Trestle

Learn about the history of Philadelphia's "Tenderloin District" while enjoying drinks at the Trestle Inn.

Join Atlas Obscura Society Philadelphia, Trestle Inn, and historian Annie Anderson for a talk on the history of Philadelphia's Skid Row district, right in it's former heart! 

Most big cities have an active or historic Tenderloin district—a place on the edge of downtown, where vice thrives and people live on the margins. Philadelphia's Tenderloin emerged in the late 1800s and housed as many as 250 billiard halls, gambling resorts, saloons, opium dens, and "disorderly houses" (brothels) by 1900. The Tenderloin became a site of spectacular police raids, open-air political stumping, and missionary moralizing before its decline around 1920.

Annie Anderson, author of Philadelphia Organized Crime in the 1920s and 1930s, will share stories and images from the district's heyday as a vice hub, and discusses how Prohibition-era organized crime impacted the Tenderloin and surrounding communities.

About the Speaker

Annie Anderson is the Manager of Research and Public Programming at Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, where she investigates America’s past and present prison systems. Annie is a cultural historian who studies race, gender, sexuality, vice, crime, and morality. She delights in telling the stories of those whom history has largely forgotten.


  • Must be 21 years or older
  • A complimentary cocktail (or beer substitute) is included in the ticket price. The Trestle bar will be open with happy hour prices until 8 p.m.


Email John Pettit at  john.pettit@atlasobscura.com.

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