Philadelphia

Philadelphia  (fĭl-ȧ-del ´fĭ-ȧ), Pa. [The “Quaker City”; named from two Greek words meaning “loved or friendly,” and “brother,” applied as “brotherly love.” The Indian name of the locality was Coaquannok, “grove of tall pine trees.”]

The chief city of Pennsylvania and the third city in population and importance of the United States, it is situated on the Delaware River, about one hundred miles by ship-channel (via Delaware Bay) from the Atlantic Ocean, ninety miles by railroad southwest of New York City, and one hundred and thirty-six miles northeast of Washington.

The city occupies mainly a broad plain between the Delaware and the Schuylkill Rivers. It is twenty-two miles long from north to south and five to ten miles wide, covering one hundred and thirty square miles, and is laid out with chessboard regularity. The characteristic Philadelphia house is a two-storied or three-storied structure of red pressed brick, with white marble steps. The two rivers give it about thirty miles of water-front for docks and wharfage, and it is the headquarters of two of the greatest American railways—the Pennsylvania and the Reading.

The great wholesale business thoroughfare is Market Street, running east and west between the two rivers, while Chestnut Street, parallel with it on the south, contains the finest shops, many of the newspaper offices, etc. Broad Street is the chief street running north and south. Among the most fashionable residence quarters are Rittenhouse Square and the west parts of Walnut, Locust, Spruce, and Pine Streets. Eighth Street is the great district for shops and amusements.

The City Hall (or Public Buildings) is in the center of the city at the intersection of Broad and Market Streets. The structure is the largest exclusively municipal building in the world. It is built of white marble upon a granite base, in French Renaissance style, and covers an area of four hundred and eighty-six by four hundred and seventy feet. The height of the tower and dome is five hundred and thirty-seven feet four and one-half inches; or five hundred and seventy-three feet four and one-half inches with the colossal figure of Penn (thirty-six feet), to surmount the whole. The entire cost, when completely furnished for occupancy, was estimated at twenty-five million dollars.

The broad pavement round the City Hall is adorned with statues of General Reynolds, General McClellan, Stephen Girard, John C. Bullitt, President McKinley, and Joseph Leidy, the naturalist, and with the “Pilgrim” by Saint-Gaudens.

On the west side of City Hall Square, opposite the City Hall, is the enormous Broad Street Station of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The waiting-room contains a large allegorical relief, while one wall is covered with a mammoth railway map of the United States. On the north side of the square, at the corner of Broad Street and Filbert Street, is the Masonic Temple, a huge granite structure with a tower two hundred and fifty feet high and an elaborately carved Norman porch.

On the east side of the square, occupying the block bounded by the square, Market Street, Thirteenth Street, and Chestnut Street, is Wanamaker's Store, one of the largest in the United States. On the south side of the square is the Betz Building, with heads of the Presidents of the United States in the bronze cornice above the third-story windows.

Chestnut Street is the chief street of Philadelphia, containing many of the handsomest and most interesting buildings. To the left, at the corner of Broad Street and adjoining the Betz Building, is the Franklin National Bank, while to the right rises the fine office of the Real Estate Trust Co. At the corner of Twelfth Street is the tall Commonwealth Trust Building, and at the corner of Tenth Street, on the same side, is the New York Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Between Tenth and Ninth Streets, to the left, are the Mortgage Trust Co., the Penn Mutual Life Building, with an elaborate facade, and the office of the Philadelphia Record. At the corner of Ninth Street, extending on the north to Market Street, is the Post Office, a large granite building in the Renaissance style, erected at a cost of five million dollars. It also contains the United States Courts and the offices of various Federal officials. In front of the Post Office is a colossal seated figure of Benjamin Franklin. Between Eighth and Seventh Streets is the ornamented front of the Union Trust Co. This neighborhood contains several newspaper offices. At the corner of Sixth Street, on the Public Ledger Building, is another statue of Franklin.

In Seventh Street, a little to the north of Chestnut Street, is the Franklin Institute with a library, museum and lecture-hall.

Between Fifth and Sixth Streets is Independence Hall, or the old State House, a modest brick edifice (1732-1735), which is in some respects the most interesting building in the United States. Here the Continental Congress met during the American Revolution (1775-1781), and here, on July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted. In 1897-1898 the whole building was restored as far as possible to its original condition.

The Custom House, with a Doric portico, was originally erected in 1819-1824 for the United States Bank. It is copied from the Parthenon, and considered one of the best examples of Doric architecture in the world.

A lane diverging to the right between Fourth and Third Streets, opposite the Fidelity Trust Co., leads to Carpenters' Hall, where the First Colonial Congress assembled in 1774. It contains the chairs used at the Congress, various historical relics, and the inscription: “Within these walls Henry, Hancock, and Adams inspired the delegates of the colonies with nerve and sinew for the toils of war.” Chestnut Street ends at the Delaware River.

Walnut Street runs parallel to Chestnut Street, one block to the south. In this street, at the intersection of Dock Street and Third Street, is the Stock Exchange, formerly the Merchants Exchange, with a semi-circular portico facing the river. Near it, in Third Street, is the Girard Bank, built for the first United States Bank and long owned by Stephen Girard. At Fourth Street is the building of the Manhattan Insurance Co.

Walnut Street now crosses Broad Street, to the west of which it consists mainly of private residences. Between Eighteenth and Nineteenth Streets we pass Rittenhouse Square, a fashionable residence quarter.

At the corner of Broad and Chestnut Streets are the white marble building of the Girard Trust Co., with a rotunda, and the tall Land Title Building.

North Broad Street, beginning on the north side of the City Hall Square, a handsome street one hundred and thirteen feet wide, contains in its upper portion many of the finest private residences in Philadelphia. To the right, at the corner of Filbert Street, is the Masonic Temple, which is adjoined by the Arch Street Methodist Episcopal Church. On the opposite side of the street are the tall buildings of the United Gas Improvement Co. and the Fidelity Mutual Life Association. To the right is the Odd Fellows' Temple.

To the left, at the corner of Cherry Street, is the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a building in the Venetian style of architecture. The Academy was founded in 1805. Besides its collections it supports an important art-school, the lecture hall of which is adorned with effective decorations by the pupils. Its collections include five hundred paintings, numerous sculptures, several hundred casts, and fifty thousand engravings. The early American school is especially well represented.

On the west side of Broad Street, between Race and Vine Streets, are the Hahnemann College and Hospital, one of the chief homœopathic institutions of the kind. To the right, at the corner of Spring Garden Street, is the Spring Garden Institute for instruction in drawing, painting, and the mechanic arts. Opposite are the Baldwin Locomotive Works, a highly interesting industrial establishment.

A little farther on is the Boys' Central High School, an unusually large and handsome structure, and the Synagogue Rodef Shalom, in a Moorish style.

Farther up Broad Street are numerous handsome private houses, churches, and other edifices. At the northwest corner of Broad Street and Girard Avenue is the handsome Widener Mansion, presented to the city and used as a branch of the Free Library. Beyond Master Street, to the left, is the elaborate home of the Mercantile Club. Beyond this Broad Street runs out to Germantown, six miles from the City Hall.

Girard Avenue runs west from North Broad Street to Girard College, one of the richest and most notable philanthropic institutions in the United States. It was founded by Stephen Girard, a native of France, for the education of male orphans. The original bequest of over five million dollars has increased to about thirty-five million dollars.

The main building is a dignified marble structure in the Corinthian style, resembling the Madeleine at Paris. In the vestibule are a statute of Stephen Girard, and his sarcophagus. A room on the ground floor contains several relics of him.

Market Street is the chief wholesale business thoroughfare of the city. A little to the east of City Hall Square it passes the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Station, a tall Renaissance building with a train shed little smaller than that of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The department store of Gimbel Brothers, on the south side of the street, between Eighth and Ninth Streets, is one of the largest in the world. The Penn National Bank, at the corner of South Seventh Street, occupies the site of the house in which Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.

South Broad Street leads to the south from City Hall Square. Its intersection with Chestnut Street, just to the south of the City Hall, is environed with tall office buildings. To the right is the annex of the Land Title Building, extending to Sansom Street. Opposite, adjoining the Real Estate Trust Co., is the North American Building, named after the newspaper which occupies it. Below is the Union League Club, the chief Republican club of Pennsylvania. On the same side is the large Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, the leading hotel of Philadelphia, and one of the great hostelries of the country. Farther on, to the right, is the Art Club, in the Renaissance style, in which exhibitions of paintings, concerts, and public lectures are held. At Locust Street, to the right, is the Academy of Music, while to the left is the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art, incorporated in 1876, with a special view to the development of the art industries of Pennsylvania. A characteristic feature is the department of weaving and textile design. The Industrial Museum Hall is connected with this excellent institution.

Below Pine Street, Broad Street contains few important buildings. Of special note, however, is the Ridgway Library, which stands to the left, between Christian and Carpenter Streets, nearly one mile from the City Hall. This handsome building was erected with a legacy of one million five hundred thousand dollars left by Dr. Rush in 1869, as a branch of the Philadelphia Library. Adjoining the main hall is the tomb of the founder.

Broad Street ends, four miles from the City Hall, at League Island Park, three hundred acres in extent. League Island itself, in the Delaware, contains a United States Navy Yard.

West Philadelphia , the extension of the city beyond the Schuylkill, contains many of the chief residence streets and several public buildings and charitable institutions.

The University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1740, and removed to West Philadelphia in 1872, occupies a group of more than thirty buildings scattered over an area of sixty acres bounded by Woodland and Cleveland Avenues and Pine and Thirty-second Streets.

The College, the Medical School, Dental School, and Law School, are all provided with spacious and well-equipped buildings. Houston Hall, behind College Hall, is the social center of the University student life. The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology is recognized as the headquarters of anatomical research in the United States and contains the first museum of human anatomy founded in America. The Morgan Laboratory of Physics, the Harrison Laboratory of Chemistry, the Gymnasium, and the Dormitories are all notable structures. Franklin Field, adjoining Thirty-third Street, is the athletic ground of the University and contains a large stadium.

The Museum of Science and Art occupies a tasteful building in South Street, owing part of its inspiration to the Certosa at Pavia, and is divided into five sections. Its value is largely due to the fact that many of its contents were found by expeditions organized by the University itself.

A little to the northeast, at the corner of Chestnut Street and Thirty-second Street, is the Drexel Institute, founded by A. J. Drexel, and opened in 1892. The total cost of buildings and equipment was four million five hundred thousand dollars.

Fairmount Park, the chief park of Philadelphia, is one of the largest in the world, and covers an area of three thousand three hundred and forty acres. The park proper extends along both banks of the Schuylkill for about four miles, and the narrow strip along the Wissahickon, six miles, and one of the noted drives of the world, is also included in the park limits. The principal entrances are at the end of Green Street, which is connected with the City Hall by the wide Park Boulevard, and at Girard Avenue.

In this park, in 1876 was held the Centennial Exhibition; and in its environs are the Zoological Garden, the Fairmount Waterworks, which supply to the city one hundred million gallons of water daily, the beautiful Horticultural Hall and Memorial Hall, built as part of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 at a cost of one million five hundred thousand dollars, and now containing a permanent collection of art and industry known as Pennsylvania Museum of Industrial Art.

At Sackamaxon, in Beach Street, is the small Penn Treaty Park, supposed to occupy the spot where Penn made his treaty with the Indians in 1682, under an elm that has long since vanished, a treaty, in the words of Voltaire, “never sworn to and never broken.”

In its manufacturing products Philadelphia ranks next to New York. There are upward of twenty thousand manufacturing establishments, the combined output of which amounts to more than eight hundred million dollars. The chief products are locomotives, sugar and molasses, men's clothing, foundry and machine-shop products, carpets and rugs, hosiery and knit goods, woolen and cotton goods, malt liquors, morocco, chemicals, packed meat, refined petroleum and silk, and silk goods. The great Cramp ship-building yards are on the Delaware River. The Baldwin Locomotive Works are the largest in the world.

Philadelphia was founded by William Penn in 1682, the year after was made the capital of Pennsylvania, and soon became a place of importance. It was the central point in the War of Independence, where the first Continental Congress met, September 4, 1774, and where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776. At Philadelphia, also, the Federal Union was signed, in 1778; and here, too, the Constitution of the United States was framed, in 1787. An interest of another kind attaches to the fact that the Protestant Episcopal Church of North America was organized here in 1786. From 1790 to 1800 Philadelphia was the Federal Capital; and the first mint was established here in 1792. Later events have been the holding of the Centennial Exhibition, in 1876, and the commemoration of Penn's landing in 1882.