The City and County of Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania. The city is colloquially referred to as Philly, and known as The City of Brotherly Love (from Greek: F??ad??fe?a, /fi.la.'d?l.f?j.a/, "brotherly love" from philos "loving" and adelphos "brother"). It is the fifth most populous city in the United States.
The population of the city (at the 2000 census) was 1,517,550 though 2005 U.S. Census estimates a population of 1,463,281.Philadelphia is the second-largest city on the U.S. East Coast, and a major commercial, educational, and cultural centre for the nation. The northeastern boundary of Philadelphia is only 46 miles from the southwestern fringe of New York City (and the downtowns of each are approximately 80 miles apart).****************
The Philadelphia metropolitan area is the fourth largest in the U.S. by the current official definition, with some 5.8 million people.
Philadelphia is one of the oldest and most historically significant cities in the United States. During part of the 18th century, the city was the first capital and most populous city of the United States. At that time, it eclipsed Boston and New York City in political and social importance, with Benjamin Franklin taking a large role in Philadelphia's rise.************Before Europeans arrived, the Delaware (Lenape) Indian settlement of Shackamaxon was located along the Delaware River. Although the area lay within the bounds described in the 1632 Charter of Maryland, the Calvert family's influence never reached this far north, and the first European settlers were Swedes (see New Sweden), who called it Wiccacoa, and thirteen families from Krefeld, Germany, who settled in Germantown in 1683. A congregation was formed in 1646 on Tinicum Island by Swedish missionary Johannes Campanius; in 1700, the group built Gloria Dei Church, also known as Old Swedes'.
Philadelphia is one of the earliest examples of a planned city. Its rectilinear grid of streets--now a commonplace feature of urban planning--was its most noteworthy innovation. The city was founded and developed in 1682 by William Penn, a Quaker. The city's name means "brotherly love" in Greek (F??ad??fe?a). Penn hoped that the city, as the capital of his new colony founded on principles of freedom and religious tolerance, would be a model of this philosophy. During early immigration by Quakers and others, some "first purchasers" who got title to land in the city also received farmland outside the city. One of the noteable features of Penn's plan for the city was the creation of five large squares, to provide open space for the city's residents. Penn described his city as a "Greene Countrie Town," highlighting its difference from densely-built cities like London. Most of the city's construction was brick or stone to prevent fires, like the great fire of 1666 that devastated London when William Penn resided there.***********Philadelphia was a major centre of the independence movement during the American Revolutionary War. The Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were drafted here and signed in the city's Independence Hall. Tun Tavern in the city is traditionally regarded as the location where, in 1775, the United States Marine Corps was founded.
During the American Revolutionary War Philadelphia's population was split between Loyalists and Patriots. When the British Army took the city in 1777 many Loyalists lined the streets and sang 'God Save the King'. Upon the retaking of the city for the American cause in 1778 it was the turn of the Patriot population to line the streets in celebration, especially as the population had suffered through a bitter winter with many of the provisions going to the British Army. The British left a mess, says historian Allan Nevins:
“ The enemy had left the neatest, cleanest, best-built town in America shockingly dirty and unkempt, had destroyed public and private buildings, had cut down trees and fences, and had filled the streets and gutters with obstructions. In the outskirts and in Germantown were the marks of battle. Most of the fine old country seats surrounding the city had been destroyed--the British had fired seventeen in one day. New-piled mounds in Washington Square showed where the bodies of Continental soldiers, maltreated and starved in their prison by the brutal jailer Cunningham, had been roughly buried"**************About 3000 Loyalists fled with the British; 45 Loyalists who remained behind were put on trial for treason for consorting with the enemy in wartime. Two were convicted, and hanged.
For a time in the 18th century, Philadelphia was the largest city in the Americas north of Mexico City, and the fourth largest under the rule of the British crown (after London, Bristol, and Dublin).
In 1790, as the result of a compromise between a number of Southern congressmen and Alexander Hamilton, then Secretary of the Treasury, the seat of the United States Government was moved from Federal Hall in New York to Congress Hall in Philadelphia, before assuming its current site in Washington, DC. In exchange for locating a permanent capital on the banks of the Potomac, the congressmen agreed to support Hamilton's financial proposals. Philadelphia served as capital for a decade, until 1800, when the Capitol building in the new federal city of Washington, DC was opened.******************The city limits have been coterminous with Philadelphia County since The Act of Consolidation, 1854. Until then, the city consisted only of the area bounded by South and Vine Streets and the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. The expansion incorporated present-day West Philadelphia, South Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, and Northeast Philadelphia, as well as Germantown and many smaller communities. For most of the nineteenth century, Philadelphia was the second most populous city in the United States.
1888 German map of Philadelphia. The two most prominent streets are Broad (north-south) and Market (east-west). Two rivers, for a time, bounded the city: to the west, the Schuylkill, and to the east, the Delaware, separating Pennsylvania from New Jersey.
An early railroad centre, Philadelphia was the original home of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, the world's largest builder of steam locomotives (which eventually relocated to nearby Eddystone, Pennsylvania). The Pennsylvania Railroad, once America's largest railroad by revenue and traffic volume and at one time the largest public corporation in the world, was headquartered in the city, as was its merger successor, the Penn Central, and in turn its freight railroad successor, Conrail. The city was also a major centre for the production of textiles, garments, carpets, lace, and hats. A large port, it remained one of the nation's centres for shipbuilding.
In 1876 Philadelphia hosted the Centennial Exposition to mark the one-hundredth anniverary of the independence of the United States. Memorial Hall and the expansive mall in front of it are remnants of this fair. The wealth of nineteenth century Philadelphia made it a centre for technological and architectural innovation. Among the city's prominent architects were Thomas U. Walter and Frank Furness.********************In 1926, the city held the Sesquicentennial Exposition to celebrate the nation's 150th birthday. The city underwent a major expansion in the years around the Susquicentennial, including the development of housing in large sections of the city, particularly upper North Philadelphia, the lower Northeast section of the city, and parts of Germantown and the Northwest.
During the post-World War II years, the city began to fall victim to many of the trends experienced by older, east coast cities at the time, including suburbanisation and white flight. The city's core industries, especially textile and garment manufacturing, began an exodus to other regions, especially the Piedmont South and the Caribbean. The advent of containerised shipping significantly reduced traffic to Philadelphia's port. And the decline of the railroads, with the advent of the automobile and commercial trucking, affected Philadelphia's most important business enterprise. Mitigating the effects of decentralisation were an ambitious "industrial renewal" program beginning in the 1950s that retained and attracted many manufacturing firms, especially to sections of the city's northeastern section.
Like many major cities in the United States, Philadelphia has a long history of racial and ethnic conflict. In the 1830s and 1840s, clashes between Catholics and non-Catholics led to riots, resulting in several deaths in Kensington and parts of Centre City. In 1964, the area around West Columbia Avenue in North Philadelphia exploded in riot. In 1985 Philadelphia police dropped a satchel charge on the roof of a house, via helicopter, in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia in order to combat a radical group known as MOVE. City officials allowed the fire to burn until it had consumed 62 area homes and left 11 dead.
During the 1990s Philadelphia's downtown area, known as Centre City, was greatly redeveloped with new commercial and residential development. Many areas of the city have experienced gentrification, including South Street, Old City, and Manayunk. Despite this progress, however. many areas remain in poverty.*****************Philadelphia's streetscape is dominated by rowhouses, attached brick dwellings whose affordability contributed to unusually high rates of homeownership in the city. Between the 1860s and 1920s, middle-class residential developments followed the city's streetcar lines to the north and west. Outlying sections of the city, especially Overbrook Farms, Germantown, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill, grew along commuter rail lines and were home to some of the city's grandest late nineteenth and early twentieth century homes, most constructed out of the local grey stone, Wissahickon schist.
The post-World War II era witnessed further changes in Philadelphia's landscape. Large-scale housing developments--mostly row houses and twins (double attached houses)--filled former farmland in vast sections of Northeast Philadelphia. Strip malls and shopping centres, many with a suburban appearance, served residents of this vast section of the city. By 1970, most of the remaining undeveloped land in the city's northeast, northwest, and southwest sections had been developed. At the same time, however, many of the older sections of the city, particularly in North and West Philadelphia steadily lost population.**************Beginning in the 1950s, Philadelphia's City Planning Commission put most of its energy into downtown redevelopment. Under the leadership of Edmund N. Bacon, the commission organised a master plan for the city, creating a variety of special planning, redevelopment, development districts and areas to coordinate their efforts. Projects that were headed by the new master plan were major redevelopment of Centre City, including the Penn Centre Area (replacing an immense, elevated railroad connector, locally known as the "Chinese Wall," located north of Market and West of Broad), Market East and Penn's Landing; new development and expansion in University City (focused mainly on the University of Pennsylvania); as well as the opening up of development on the fringes of the city, the Far Northeast and South Philadelphia Sports Complex.
The most prominent redevelopment efforts in the postwar years involved the creation of Independence National Park and the renewal of the nearby Society Hill district. Beginning in the late 1940s, many Victorian banks and warehouses south of Franklin Square were bulldozed for the construction of Independence Mall. By the late 1950s, with federal urban renewal funds, historic preservationists and developers began to rehabilitate eighteenth-century houses. In the 1960s, Society Hill was transformed by the demolition of the large Dock Street Market and the construction of modern apartments and infill rowhouses. One of the enduring innovations of the redevelopment period was the creation of a group of small, semi-enclosed parks in the Society Hill residential area, connected by brick footpaths.**********************City redevelopment efforts also targeted transportation. The Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) was constructed mainly on land in Fairmount Park, connecting Philadelphia with its western suburbs. The Delaware Expressway (I-95) was not completed until the 1970s, in part because of opposition to it in adjoining riverfront neighbourhoods. Delaware Expressway (I-95), and improvements to the Schuylkill Expressway. A proposed crosstown South Street expressway met with fierce opposition from residents of surrounding neighbourhoods and was never built. In its place was the Vine Street Expressway, just north of Centre City, which was completed in the 1980s. Public transit also benefitted from the construction of the Centre City Rail Connector.
Revelopment continued apace in the 1970s. Along Market Street, which Bacon had envisoned as a modern commercial district, the city used federal urban redevelopment funds to construct one of the nation's earliest enclosed downtown shopping malls, The Gallery, in partnership with developer Willard Rouse. In 1976, Philadelphia was one of the participating cities in the United States Bicentennial observances that took place nationwide, spurring a further wave of historic renovation in the central city.*********Philadelphia has many neighbourhoods, each of which has its own identity. Many of these neighbourhoods coincide with the borough and townships that made up Philadelphia County before their absorption by the city. These include Chestnut Hill, East Falls, Fishtown, Lawncrest, Fox Chase, Frankford, Germantown, Greys Ferry, Kensington, Manayunk, Mount Airy, North Philadelphia, Northern Liberties, Olney, Overbrook, Parkside, Parkwood, Port Richmond, Powelton Village, Queen Village, Roxborough, South Philadelphia, University City, West Oak Lane, and many others. Prominent neighbourhoods in Centre City include Chinatown, Fairmount, Old City, Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square West and Society Hill.*********Philadelphia contains many national historical sites that relate to the founding of the United States. Independence National Historical Park is the centre of these historical landmarks. Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Liberty Bell are the city's most famous attractions. Other historic sites include homes for Edgar Allan Poe and Betsy Ross and early government buildings like the First and Second Banks of the United States.********************
The city contains many museums such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Rodin Museum, the largest collection of work by Auguste Rodin outside of France. The city’s major art museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is one of the largest art museums in the United States and features the steps made popular by the film Rocky. Philadelphia's major science museums include the Franklin Institute, which contains the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. History museums include the National Constitution Centre, the Atwater-Kent Museum of Philadelphia History, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and Eastern State Penitentiary. Philadelphia is home to the United States' first zoo and hospital.
Areas such as South Street and Old City have a vibrant night life. The Avenue of the Arts in Centre City contains many restaurants and theatres, such as the Kimmel Centre for the Performing Arts which is home to the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Academy of Music, the nation's oldest continually operating venue, home to the Philadelphia Opera.