Julian Francis Abele led the Horace Trumbauer Company team of architects that designed the Central Library, constructed between 1917 and 1927. Abele was born in Philadelphia in 1881 and was the first African American graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of fine Arts.
A "gentlemen's agreement" kept all of Philadelphia's buildings lower than the top of Alexander Milne Calder's statue of Penn on top of City Hall. However, in 1987 the "gentlemen's agreement" was broken when Mayor Wilson Goode endorsed the building of One Liberty Place.
Comcast Technology Center, 1122 feet; Comcast Center, 974 feet; One Liberty Place, 945 feet; Two Liberty Place, 846 feet; Mellon Bank Center, 791 feet; Three Logan, 738 feet; FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, 732 feet.
The Mellon Bank Center, located at 1735 Market Street, was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and completed in 1990.
The Curtis Center, located on 6th Street between Walnut and Sansom, was designed by Edgar V. Seeler and completed in 1907. The Curtis Center was once the Curtis Building which was the home of the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal and other popular magazines.
The Philadelphia Saving Fund Society (PSFS), the oldest savings bank in the US, built the first American skyscraper in the International style at 12th and Market in Philadelphia. This radical building was designed by George Howe and William Lescaze, and constructed between 1930 and 1932 during the Great Depression. It was the first American skyscraper built with glass-walled floors wrapping around a steel skeleton, and the first to be fully air conditioned. After PSFS's demise in 1992 the building was sold. It reopened in 2000 as the Loew's Hotel.
One Liberty Place was designed by Helmut Jahn, a Chicago based architect, in 1987. The 61 story, 958 foot tower at 17th and Chestnut Streets was the tallest in the city until the Comcast Center opened in 2008.
They are headquartered at the Armory at 21st and Ranstead Streets. Dressed in historic cavalry uniforms, they often serve as an honor guard during civic events.
Source: Phila. Inquirer, 06/04/91
Center City is a term common in Europe, but unusual in the United States. William Penn spaced his four squares equidistant from Center Square, which was where City Hall now stands.
Source: Phila. Inquirer, 01/16/75
It was an elevated structure at 15th and Market Streets, which supported tracks for the Pennsylvannia Railroad. Openned in December of 1881, it was demolished in 1933.
Source: Phila. Inquirer, 03/08/67
The building cost $543,000; $370,000 was raised by Jasper Claghorn, $33,000 was a bequest from Henry Gilpin, $140,000 was raised by the sale of property, and the rest came from smaller donations.
This large structure, which was built from 1846-64, is based on the Lombard Church of St. Charles. Napoleon Le Brun and George Notman designed it, putting a vaulted ceiling 80 feet above the seating capacity for 2,000.
Founded as a literary society and library in 1814, the Athenaeum moved into its present John Notman-designed Italianate Renaissance Revival building in 1947. It is one of the last remaining subscription libraries in the country.
The Curtis Institute on Rittenhouse Square is the former home of the George W. Childs Drexel. It is located at 1724 Locust Street. It became a music school started by Mary Curtis Bok in memory of her father Cyrus Curtis. Past presidents have included Efrem Zimbalist and Rudolf Serkin.
Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.157, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f
St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church on 20th and Locust Streets in Philadelphia has for a cornerstone a rock from Armagh, Ireland, from which St. Patrick is said to have preached. It was reported that 30,000 people attenede the laying of the cornerstone by the bishop of Armagh.
Independence Hall, formerly known as the State House, was originally designed by Andrew Hamilton. Hamilton worked in collaboration with Edmund Wooley, a member of the Carpenter's Company, until Hamilton's death. The State House was conceived as a five-part plan based on the Palladian principle of two secondary buildings linked to a main block by arcades.
The Second Bank of the United States was designed by William Strickland. In 1818 he won the competition for the design of the building. The design of the two porticoes of the Second Bank of the United States is taken from the Parthenon in Greece. The Second Bank of the United States is located at 420 Chestnut Street, and was built from 1818 to 1824.
Carpenters' Hall was built by the Carpenters' Company. The Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia was a group of master builders that joined together in 1774. The Hall is a part of Independence National Historic Park because the First Continental Congress met there in 1774. The building was mainly designed by Robert Smith, a respected member of the Company, and it was built from 1770-1774. It is located at 320 Chestnut Street between 3rd and 4th Streets.
The alley itself, originally known as Gilbert's Alley, was created in 1706. Landowners Arthur Wells and John Gilbert combined their properties to create a cart path to the river. Most of the original homes still remain occupied today.
Built, or rather put together from 1850 till 1917, Lit Bros. involved over 7 stores which ran along the 700 block on Market Street in Center City. Two of the buildings were of cast-iron construction.
Source: Webster. Philadelphia Preserved. 1976, p.51,82-3.
The Philadelphia Convention Center from Arch to Race Street and 11th to 13th street was opened in 1993 with 440,000 square feet of exhibit space. It was expanded to Broad Street in 2011 and now is over 2 million square feet.
City Hall was designed by John McArthur Jr., at Scottish architect. It was designed in the Second Empire Style, modeled after the Palais des Tuileries and the Louvre in Paris. The building took 30 years to build and was completed in 1901.
Mass was celebrated outside the Roman Cathedral of S.S. Peter and Paul during the Pope's 21 hour vist to Philly on October 3rd. 1979.
Source: Philadelphia Inq. Millennium Philadelphia. 1999, Pp. 156,180.
President Franklin Pierce attended the groundbreaking on June 18, 1855 and the completed building opened with a grand ball on January 26, 1857. The first performance was the opera, Il Travatore, performed on February 25, 1857. The Academy of Music is the oldest opera house still in use in the U.S. and was also the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1900 to 2001.
The architect for the Academy of Music was Philadelphia-born Napoleon LeBrun, the son of a French diplomat. For acoustical purposes, the auditorium is designed after the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. The Renaissance Revival Style building was faced with brick, rather than marble, as a cost-saving measure.
It is the Walnut Steet Theater at 9th and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia, which began life in 1809 as the New Circus. Louisa and John Drew, grandparents to the Barrymore clan, performed there, as did Edmund Kean, Fanny Kemble, and Edwin Forrest.
Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.336.
It was the Merchant Exchange Building at 3rd and Walnut Streets. The building's impressive Greek Revival facade was designed by William Strickland. The Exchange was housed there from 1834 till 1876, then from 1902 till 1911.
Formed in 1862, the Union League of Philadelphia was one of the first of many Union Leagues organized across the North to support the government of the United States and the suppression of rebellion. In addition to raising money and troops, the Union League of Philadelphia produced 4.5 million copies of 145 pro-Union pamphlets and distributed them throughout the North. After the war's end the Union League supported black civil rights and spearheaded a successful campaign for streetcar desegregation in Philadelphia. In 1865 it moved into its present location at Broad and Sansom Streets.
It was the PSFS Building, designed by George Howe and William Lecaze, and then constructed by the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society in 1932. Standing at 12th and Market Streets, it rose 36-stories high, and was topped by a lighted sign reading PSFS.
It was the stagecoach line run by James Boxall,which started in 1831 and ran along Chestnut Street between 2nd and 16th Streets.
Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.427
Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach of Philadephia bought Ulysses in 1924 for $1,975. It is now part of the collection of the Rosenbach Museum and Library located at 2010 Delancey Street.
Source: Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual, 1995, p.19, Kenneth Finkel, 974.811 P53AA
In 1832 trains began to run between 9th Street in Center City and Greene Street in Germantown.
Source: Finkel. Philadelphia Almanac, 1995.
S.J. Cresswell Ironworks, in business from 1870 till 1969, is the name stamped on most of the manhole covers in town. The firm began operations on Race street, but latter moved to 23rd and Cherry Streets, where its old fitting-up shed still stands.
Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.6:6, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o
The boundaries of Center City are the Delaware River to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west, and from South to Vine Streets. These were the original boundaries for Philadelphia before the Consolidation Act of 1854.
Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.6:3, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o