Philadelphia City Hall

6 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© - nakashi/cc-by-2.0

© – 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.   read more…

Philadelphia, birthplace of the United States of America

26 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  8 minutes

Philadelphia from South Street Bridge © King of Hearts/cc-by-sa-3.0

Philadelphia from South Street Bridge © King of Hearts/cc-by-sa-3.0

Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States. It is the sixth-most-populous city in the United States and the most populous city in the state of Pennsylvania, with a 2020 population of 1,603,797. It is also the second-most populous city in the Northeastern United States, behind New York City. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most-populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017 Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural center of the greater Delaware Valley along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill rivers within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley’s 2019 estimated population of 7.21 million makes it the ninth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.   read more…

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

31 March 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  8 minutes

Warden Garden and Main Entrance to the Penn Museum © Mefman00

Warden Garden and Main Entrance to the Penn Museum © Mefman00

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn’s founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. The University of Pennsylvania considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, though this is contested by Princeton and Columbia Universities. The university also considers itself as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.   read more…

Wharton School in Philadelphia

29 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  9 minutes

Huntsman Hall, main building of the Wharton School © WestCoastivieS

Huntsman Hall, main building of the Wharton School © WestCoastivieS

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (also known as Wharton Business School, The Wharton School or simply Wharton) is the business school of the University of Pennsylvania, a private Ivy League university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Established in 1881 through a donation from Joseph Wharton, the Wharton School is the world’s oldest collegiate school of business. The Wharton School awards Bachelor of Science in Economics degrees at the undergraduate level and Master of Business Administration degrees at the postgraduate level, both of which require the selection of a major. Wharton also offers a doctoral program and houses, or co-sponsors, several diploma programs either alone or in conjunction with the other schools at the university.   read more…

The Moshulu

1 December 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  12 minutes

Moshulu at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia © Acroterion/cc-by-3.0

Moshulu at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia © Acroterion/cc-by-3.0

Moshulu (ex Kurt) is a four-masted steel barque built by William Hamilton and Company on the River Clyde in Scotland in 1904. The largest remaining original windjammer, she is currently a floating restaurant docked in Penn’s Landing, Philadelphia, adjacent to the museum ships USS Olympia and USS Becuna. Originally named Kurt after Dr. Kurt Siemers, director general and president of the Hamburg shipping company G. H. J. Siemers & Co., she was, along with her sistership Hans, one of the last four-masted steel barques to be built on the Clyde, (Archibald Russell was launched in 1905). Constructed for G. H. J. Siemers & Co. to be used in the nitrate trade, at a cost of £36,000, she was launched in 1904. Her first master was Captain Christian Schütt, followed by Captain Wolfgang H. G. Tönissen in 1908 who made a fast voyage from Newcastle, Australia, to Valparaíso with a cargo of coal in 31 days. Between 1904 and 1914, under German ownership, Kurt shipped coal from Wales to South America, nitrate from Chile to Germany, coal from Australia to Chile, and coke and patent fuel from Germany to Santa Rosalía, Mexico.   read more…

The King of Prussia Mall

3 May 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  4 minutes

King of Prussia Mall © NASA WorldWind

King of Prussia Mall © NASA WorldWind

The King of Prussia Mall is the largest shopping mall in the United States of America in terms of leasable retail space. It is a luxury mall with numerous upscale retailers. A selection of international dining options are available at three food courts and in casual and fine dining establishments.   read more…

The Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia

3 July 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

Independence Hall in Philadelphia by Ferdinand Richardt, 1858-63 © White House Art Collection

Independence Hall in Philadelphia by Ferdinand Richardt, 1858-63 © White House Art Collection

Independence National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park in Philadelphia that preserves several sites associated with the American Revolution and the nation’s founding history. Administered by the National Park Service, the 55-acre (22 ha) park comprises much of the downtown (or “Center City“) historic district. The park has been nicknamed “America’s most historic square mile” because of its abundance of historic landmarks, and the park sites are located within the Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods of Philadelphia. The centerpiece of the park is Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted in the late 18th century. Independence Hall was the principal meetinghouse of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783 and the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. Across the street from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence, is displayed in the Liberty Bell Center. The park contains other historic buildings, such as the First Bank of the United States, the first bank chartered by the United States Congress, and the Second Bank of the United States, which had its charter renewal vetoed by President Andrew Jackson as part of the Bank War.

Most of the park’s historic structures are located in the vicinity of the four landscaped blocks between Chestnut, Walnut, 2nd, and 6th streets. The park also contains Franklin Court, the site of a museum dedicated to Benjamin Franklin and the United States Postal Service Museum. An additional three blocks directly north of Independence Hall, collectively known as Independence Mall, contain the Liberty Bell Center, National Constitution Center, Independence Visitor Center, and the former site of the President’s House.
Carpenters' Hall © Davidt8 Congress Hall © - Tim Eschaton First Bank of the United States © Kanan H. Jani/cc-by-sa-3.0 Independence Mall in 2004 © National Park Service - Robin Miller Independence Hall © Rdsmith4/cc-by-sa-2.5 Independence National Historical Park map © National Park Service - Harpers Ferry Center Statue of George Washington © Phillyfan0419 Liberty Bell Pavilion - Liberty Bell © Ronen Perry/cc-by-3.0 Independence Hall in Philadelphia by Ferdinand Richardt, 1858-63 © White House Art Collection
Independence Hall in Philadelphia by Ferdinand Richardt, 1858-63 © White House Art Collection
Most of Independence National Historical Park’s buildings and land are contained within the broad plaza called Independence Mall, which is bookended by the National Constitution Center on the north, Independence Hall on the south, and Fifth and Sixth Streets on the east and west, respectively. The Mall was created in the 1950s by city planner Ed Bacon, who demolished “blocks of Victorian architecture” to bring an open space to the heart of historic Philadelphia in front of Independence Hall. Most of the buildings that previously occupied the site of Independence Mall were late nineteenth-century buildings that replaced earlier buildings destroyed by fire in 1851 and 1855. Proponents of the mall thought these buildings were eyesores because of their contrast with the historic nature of the area. As plans emerged, retailers on Market Street resisted, arguing that the demolition was out-of-scale with the comparatively small landmark at its southern end.

By 1959, when the bulldozers finished work on Independence Mall, only the Free Quaker Meetinghouse remained. The building had been used as a warehouse for plumbing supplies before its restoration as part of the project. In 1961, the building was moved 38 feet west and 8 feet south to its present location to allow for the widening of Fifth Street. To plan for the celebration of the United States Bicentennial in 1976, the National Park Service relocated the Liberty Bell from Independence Hall to the glass-enclosed Liberty Bell Pavilion, as the Independence Hall could not accommodate the millions expected to visit Philadelphia that year. In 1997, the National Park Service announced a plan to redesign Independence Mall. As part of the plan, several new public buildings were constructed. The Independence Visitors Center was opened in November 2001, the National Constitution Center was opened in July 2003, and the Liberty Bell, which had been housed in a glass pavilion, was moved into the Liberty Bell Center in October 2003. Exhibits include coverage of slavery in US history and its abolition. At the corner of 6th and Market Street, a President’s House memorial outlines the site of the former mansion and commemorates the slaves who worked there. The former building had been demolished in portions starting in 1835, and its remnants were removed during the creation of Independence Mall.

Read more on Independence National Historical Park, Independence Visitor Center and Wikipedia Independence National Historical Park. Photos by Wikipedia Commons.

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