Philadelphia City Hall

Tuesday, 6 December 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© flickr.com - nakashi/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – nakashi/cc-by-2.0

Philadelphia City Hall is the seat of the municipal government of the City of Philadelphia. Built in the ornate Second Empire style, City Hall houses the chambers of the Philadelphia City Council and the offices of the Mayor of Philadelphia. It is also a courthouse, serving as the seat of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, and houses the Civil Trial and Orphans’ Court Divisions of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County.

Built of brick, white marble, and limestone, Philadelphia City Hall is the world’s largest free-standing masonry building and was the world’s tallest habitable building upon its completion in 1894. In 1976, it was designated a National Historic Landmark, and in 2006, was also named a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

City Hall is situated on land that was reserved as a public square upon the city’s founding in 1682. Originally known as Centre Square—later renamed Penn Square — it was used for public gatherings until the construction of City Hall began in 1871. Centre Square was one of the five original squares of Philadelphia laid out on the city grid by William Penn. The square had been located at the geographic center of Penn’s city plan, but the Act of Consolidation in 1854 created the much larger and coterminous city and county of Philadelphia. Though no longer at the exact center of the city, the square remains situated in the center of the historic area between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers; an area which is now called Center City. Penn had intended that Centre Square be the central focus point where the major public buildings would be located, including those for government, religion, and education, as well as the central marketplace. However, the Delaware riverfront would remain the de facto economic and social heart of the city for more than a century.

© R.Hood Photography/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Toniklemm/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 © Beyond My Ken/cc-by-sa-4.0 © flickr.com - Dave Z/cc-by-2.0 © flickr.com - nakashi/cc-by-2.0
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© R.Hood Photography/cc-by-sa-4.0
The building is topped by a 37 ft (11 m) bronze statue weighing 53,348 lb (24,198 kg) of city founder William Penn, one of 250 sculptures created by Alexander Milne Calder that adorn the building inside and out. The statue was cast at the Tacony Iron Works of Northeast Philadelphia and hoisted to the top of the tower in fourteen sections in 1894. The statue is the tallest atop any building in the world. Despite its lofty perch, the city has mandated that the statue be cleaned about every ten years to remove corrosion and reduce deterioration due to weathering, with the latest cleaning done in May 2017. Penn’s statue is hollow, and a narrow access tunnel through it leads to a 22-inch-diameter (56 cm) hatch atop the hat.

Calder wished the statue to face south so that its face would be lit by the sun most of the day, the better to reveal the details of his work. The statue actually faces northeast, towards Penn Treaty Park in the Fishtown section of the city, which commemorates the site where Penn signed a treaty with the local Native American tribe. Pennsbury Manor, Penn’s country home in Bucks County, is also located to the northeast.

By the terms of a gentlemen’s agreement that forbade any structure from rising above the hat on the Penn statue, Philadelphia City Hall remained the tallest building in the city until it was surpassed by One Liberty Place in 1986. The abrogation of this agreement supposedly brought a curse onto local professional sports teams. Twice during the 1990s, the statue was partially clothed in a major league sports team‘s uniform when they were in contention for a championship: a Phillies cap in 1993 and a Flyers jersey in 1997—both teams lost. The supposed curse ended 22 years later when the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, a year and four months after a Penn statuette had been affixed to the final beam of the Comcast Center during its topping out ceremony in June 2007. Another Penn statuette was placed on the topmost beam of the Comcast Technology Center in November 2017, and the Eagles won the Super Bowl a few months later.

Read more on visitphilly.com – Philadelphia City Hall and Wikipedia Philadelphia City Hall (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Johns Hopkins University & Medicine - Coronavirus Resource Center - Global Passport Power Rank - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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