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Getting There
Getting Around
Public Safety
Health Care
Parks and Recreation
Performing Arts
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Famous Citizens
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America, North America

Founded: 1682;
Incorporated: 1701
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania, between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers
Flag: Outer vertical stripes of blue, with seal centered on center yellow stripe.
Time Zone: 7 am Eastern Standard Time (EST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White, 57.2%; Black, 39.9%; Native American, 0.2%; and Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.7%
Elevation: 12 m (40 ft)
Latitude and Longitude: 39°95'N, 75°16'W
Climate: Continental climate moderated by the Appalachian mountains and the Atlantic Ocean; hot, humid summers
Annual Mean Temperature: 12.5 °C (54.6°F); January 0.6°C (33.1°F); August 23.7°C (74.7°F)
Seasonal Average Snowfall: 50.8 cm (20 in)
Average Annual Precipitation (rainfall and melted snow): 105.2 cm (41.4 in)
Government: Mayor-council
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 215
Postal Codes: 1910160

1. Introduction

Located in southeastern Pennsylvania, at the confluence of the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers, Philadelphia is the state's largest city and the fifth largest in the United States. Home of the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Belland the first capital of the United StatesPhiladelphia has one of the nation's greatest concentrations of historic sites, which play a major role in attracting some three million visitors to the city every year. Although it has ceded its one-time position as manufacturing capital of the nation, Philadelphia today is home to a vigorous service-oriented economy as well as the number one freshwater port in the United States. Its central location in relation to the cities of the Eastern Seaboard, and the eastern United States as a whole, combined with its population, size, and cultural and recreational resources continue to make Philadelphia one of the nation's major cities.

2. Getting There

Philadelphia is located in southeastern Pennsylvania, where the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers meet. The city's fairly flat terrain resembles that of surrounding areas in New Jersey and Delaware rather than the hilly land characteristic of much of Pennsylvania's interior.


The major interstate access to Philadelphia is via I-95, running from Boston and points north all the way down to Florida. Intersecting with I-95 is I-76 (the Schuylkill Expressway), which extends westward through southern Pennsylvania. Other major routes in the area are I-276 (the Pennsylvania Turnpike), and I-676 (the Vine Street Expressway), which links I-76 to Camden, New Jersey. I-476 (the "Blue Route") runs along the suburbs to the west of the city, connecting I-76 and I-276 to the north with I-95 to the south.

Bus and Railroad Service

Philadelphia is one of the main stops on the Amtrak route that traverses the Boston-Washington corridor in the northeast of the country. Trains arrive at and depart from Penn Station. Intercity bus service is available on Greyhound and Peter Pan/Trailways. Intercity service to nearby destinations is provided by New Jersey Transit.


Philadelphia International Airport is a hub for Midway Airlines and US Airways. It also services the other major U.S. carriers, including American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, TWA, and United.


Penn's Landing is the largest freshwater port in the United States. Together with facilities in southern New Jersey and Delaware, it constitutes the Ports of Philadelphia, operated by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. The jointly operated port complex handles the East Coast's largest volume of international shipping freight.

Philadelphia Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 1,524,249
Area: 349.6 sq km (135 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 57.2% white; 39.9% black; 0.2% Native American; and 2.7% Asian
Nicknames: City of Brotherly Love

Metropolitan Area

Population: 4,398,000
Description: Philadelphia and surrounding communities
Area: 9,984.5 sq km (3,855 sq mi)
World population rank 1: 52
Percentage of national population 2: 1.6%
Average yearly growth rate: 0.4%
Ethnic composition: 76.9% white; 20% black; 2.9% Asian/Pacific Islander

  1. The Philadelphia metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of the United States' total population living in the Philadelphia metropolitan area.

3. Getting Around

The streets of Philadelphia are laid out in a grid pattern, with numbered streets running north-south. Many of the east-west streets were namedby founding father William Penn (1644 1718)for local plants and trees, including Cherry, Chestnut, Walnut, Locust, Spruce, and Pine. The Delaware River to the east and the Schuylkill River to the west meet south of the city.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

Public transportation is operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and includes buses, trolleys, subways, and commuter trains. Bus lines include the PHLASH Bus service, which makes a loop through many of the downtown's major commercial and cultural sites, the Ben FrankLine, the Mid-City Loop, and the Chestnut Street Transitway. The commuter rail line, PATCO, connects the city with Camden, New Jersey, via the Ben Franklin Bridge. Underground Rapid Transit lines intersect underneath City Hall.


Bus tours of Philadelphia's historic sights are offered by Gray Line Tours and American Trolley Tours, whose "trolleys" are actually double-decker buses. Candlelight walking tours of historic Philadelphia are available also, as well as tours by horse and carriage. Boat tours that offer views of the city's skyline from the harbor are offered on the Spirit of Philadelphia and the Liberty Belle II.

4. People

In 1990, the population of Philadelphia was 1,586,000, of which 39.9 percent were black, 2.7 percent Asian, and 0.2 percent Native American. Hispanics (both white and black) accounted for 5.6 percent of the population. The population estimate for 1994 was 1,524,249.

The population of the Philadelphia Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area was reported as 4,922,257 in 1990 and estimated at 4,940,653 as of 1997. The region's racial composition was listed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1996 as 76.9 percent white; 20 percent black; and 2.9 percent Asian/Pacific Islander. The percentage of residents of Hispanic origin (an ethnic rather than a racial designation) was 4.3 percent.

5. Neighborhoods

The historic central city is known as Center City. At its center lies Penn Square, the site of Philadelphia's city hall. The surrounding area can be divided into four quadrants, each arranged around a central square (or, in the case of Logan Circle, the site of a former square). In the northwest quadrant, the gracious, tree-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway passes through Logan Circle, in a district that includes the Franklin Institute Science Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences. South of this section lies Rittenhouse Square, an urban park surrounded by buildings that reflect the district's nineteenth-century history as an exclusive neighborhood that was home to some of the city's wealthiest citizens.

In the southeast quadrant is Washington Square, where the city's historic colonial district (also known as Old City) begins and stretches eastward to the Delaware River. This area includes Independence National Historic Park. Colonial architecture is also on display to the south, in the area known as Society Hill, a fashionable neighborhood of restored Federal, Georgian, and colonial homes. Further south is Queen Village, an area originally settled by Swedes that boasts the oldest church in the state of Pennsylvania. South Street, which lies between Society Hill and Queen Village, became a counterculture enclave in the 1960s and is still a trendy and sophisticated venue filled with bookstores, cafes, natural food stores, restaurants, and other businesses.

South of Center City is South Philadelphia, the oldest section of Philadelphia. Today it is a colorful and ethnically diverse neighborhood with a strong Italian influence.

West of the Schuylkill River lies University City, home of the University of Pennsylvania ("Penn"), which moved to this location in the 1870s, and Drexel University. In recent years, the university has helped gentrify the area by supporting the establishment of bookstores and other businesses.

Northwest of Center City lie the residential communities of Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, and Manayunk; the latter has become a fashionable neighborhood graced by a lively assortment of galleries, restaurants, boutiques, and cafes. Chestnut Hill, originally a planned community designed by British architects in the mid-nineteenth century, has been designated a National Historic District thanks to its distinctive buildings.

City Fact Comparison
Indicator Philadelphia Cairo Rome Beijing
(United States) (Egypt) (Italy) (China)
Population of urban area1 4,398,000 10,772,000 2,688,000 12,033,000
Date the city was founded 1682 AD 969 753 BC 723 BC
Daily costs to visit the city2
Hotel (single occupancy) $118 $193 $172 $129
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) $44 $56 $59 $62
Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.) $2 $14 $15 $16
Total daily costs $164 $173 $246 $207
Major Newspapers3
Number of newspapers serving the city 2 13 20 11
Largest newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar La Repubblica Renmin Ribao
Circulation of largest newspaper 428,895 1,159,450 754,930 3,000,000
Date largest newspaper was established 1829 1944 1976 1948
1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.
2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.
3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.

Other municipalities in the metropolitan Philadelphia area include Upper Darby, Levittown, Doylestown, and New Hope (all in Pennsylvania), as well as Haddonfield, Moorestown, and Merchantsville in New Jersey. Also geographically associated with Philadelphia are a series of Pennsylvania communities known as the Main Line, including Merion, Wayne, Ardmore, Villanova, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr.

6. History

The Philadelphia region was first settled by Swedes in the first half of the seventeenth century. It was not until 1682 that the Englishman William Penn, having received a land grant from King Charles II, founded his settlement between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, north of the existing Swedish settlement. Penn planned a town with broad avenues and public squares. Settlers were attracted by the economic opportunities available in the new land, as well as by the promise of religious freedom guaranteed by Penn, a Quaker who had rejected the dictates of England's established Anglican Church.

By the eighteenth century, thanks to its fine port and good agricultural land, Philadelphia had become the foremost city in the 13 British colonies. Its considerable wealth, reflected in both its architecture and in the interior decor of its houses, also supported an impressive infrastructure and network of public services and cultural institutions. The first hospital in the future United States was opened in Philadelphia in 1755 (a project in which the city's most famous son, Benjamin Franklin, participated). Franklin was also a driving force behind the founding of the University of Pennsylvania, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the American Philosophical Society.

Although the Philadelphians were more politically moderate than their neighbors in New England, they participated actively in the debate that preceded the adoption of the Declaration of Independence (which occurred in the city's own Independence Hall, then known as the State House) and were heavily involved in the Revolutionary War (17751783), during which their city was occupied by British troops under General Howe between 1777 and 1778 before Howe's army moved on to New York. The members of the Continental Congress fled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, taking the Liberty Bell with them. After the war, Philadelphia was the site of the Constitutional Convention, at which the U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787, and the city served as the capital of the new country in the 1790s before the completion of Washington, D.C.

The nineteenth century brought continued prosperity and cultural advancement to the city. In 1805 the first permanent bridge over the Schuylkill River connected Philadelphia with the fertile farmland of the interior. In the 1820s and 1830s, seaport and rail access made the Philadelphia the manufacturing capital of the United States, as well as one of its premier financial centers. Cultural progress continued also with the establishment of public education and the creation of such institutions as the Walnut Street Theater. Although the national capital had moved to Washington, Philadelphia remained the national center for the minting of money, shipbuilding, and weapons production.

As an enlightened city, Philadelphia was a hotbed of antislavery sentiment, although many of the city's elite, dependent on Southern trade, opposed the war for economic reasons. War brought its own economic compensation as Philadelphia became a center for military supplies and transport equipment.

However, nothing could compensate for the loss of thousands of Philadelphia's native sons in the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg (Pennsylvania) in 1863. When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, his body lay in state in Independence Hall before traveling to its final resting place in Illinois.

Immigration to Philadelphia, already heavy before the Civil War (186165), continued in the last decades of the century. New arrivals from Italy and Eastern Europe joined the large number of Irish immigrants who had arrived earlier and helped maintain Philadelphia's position as the nation's manufacturing capital, with a varied manufacturing base that ranged from sugar refining to hat manufacturing. In 1876 Philadelphia hosted the first World's Fair held in the United States: the Centennial Exhibition in Fairmount Park, which included a demonstration of the telephone. Philadelphia went on to become a pioneer in the establishment of modern utilities, claiming the first residential and office electric lighting and the first telephone exchange, both in place by 1878.

As the new century arrived, Philadelphians were prospering, with the greatest home ownership rate of any city in the world. During World War I (191418), the city boasted the largest shipbuilding plant in existence at the time. The city's population continued to growfrom one million to two million between 1900 and 1930, an increase that included a large number of African Americans. However, the Great Depression of the 1930s signaled the end of Philadelphia's predominance as a manufacturing center, even though the city's economy rebounded with the advent of World War II (193945).

In the post-war years, Philadelphia's leaders have slowed migration to the surrounding suburbs with an ambitious program of urban renewal that restored Center City, preserving Philadelphia's historic heritage while allowing for development that would draw businesses to the city. Like other urban centers in the United States, Philadelphia has seen the growth of a service-oriented economy replace its former manufacturing base; today, manufacturing in this former industrial capital employs only about ten percent of the work force. As the twenty-first century began, the city continued to combine historic preservation with new development as the National Park Service worked on plans to transform Independence Mall, and a new National Constitution Center entered the planning stages as well.

7. Government

Both the city and the county of Philadelphia are administered by the same mayor-council government, established under a 1951 charter that served as a national model for big-city government, eliminating the administrative role of council and strengthening the powers of the mayor. The mayor and the 17 council members are elected to four-year terms, with ten council members elected by district and seven elected at large. The mayor may not serve more than two consecutive terms, although there are no limits on the number of non-consecutive mayoral terms.

8. Public Safety

Philadelphia is considered one of the nation's safest large metropolitan areas. In 1995, the city's incidence of reported violent crimes per 100,000 population was 1,436, including 28 murders, 51 rapes, and 889 robberies. The incidence of property crimes was 5,642 and included 1,057 burglaries and 1,556 motor vehicle thefts.

9. Economy

Like other cities in the Northeast, Philadelphiaonce the manufacturing capital of the nationhas seen a decline in its traditional industrial base since World War II, as heavy industry moved to areas in the South and West. Until the 1980s, the city's port and petroleum-refining plants contributed substantially to the economy, but since that time service industries have replaced manufacturing as the dominant economic sector. Manufacturing, which used to account for 50 percent of the city's employment, now accounts for only about ten percent.

Today's leading economic sectors include advertising, financial services, law, and book publishing. The health care field is also a major income producer, with some 20 percent of the work force employed in health care services or the city's growing biomedical and pharmaceutical industries. Philadelphia has also made a concerted effort to capitalize on its historic attractions by promoting tourism, most notably through the construction of a new $525 million convention center, completed in 1993, and developing its waterfront areas.

Another target of the city's economic planning has been the promotion of Philadelphia as a venue for corporate headquarters, and new buildings as well as entire office parks have multiplied rapidly along Route 202 just west of the city. Major corporations headquartered in the Philadelphia area today include SmithKline Beecham, Aramark, Advanta, and CIGNA.

10. Environment

The physical features of the Philadelphia region have determined many aspects of its history, from the fertile river-wash soil that drew its early settlers to begin farming the area to its ports, which guaranteed an abundant supply of water, encouraged the growth of shipbuilding, and have made the city a major transport and shipping center throughout its history. The Fairmount Waterworks, constructed in 1840 and still standing in Fairmount Park, was a state-of-the-art project that pumped water from the Schuylkill River into the community for residential and commercial use.

11. Shopping

Philadelphia offers both traditional retail outlets in its historic neighborhoods and abundant mall and outlet shopping. For sheer size, the dominant shopping venue is the King of Prussia Court and Plaza north of the city, which is America's second-largest shopping mall, superseded only by the Mall of America in Minnesota. The King of Prussia facility, which boasts 450 stores and 51 hectares (126 acres) of parking, offers major stores such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdale's, and specialty retailers including Tiffany, Williams-Sonoma, and Hermes.

The Franklin Mills outlet mall northeast of Center City is a single-story mall that attracts millions of shoppers annually with over 200 discount and outlet stores, including outlets for Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Burlington Coat Factory, as well as a 14-screen multiplex cinema.

Popular traditional urban shopping venues include Liberty Place, a downtown skyscraper that contains over 70 stores; South Street, which has evolved from a 1960s hippie district into a trendy upscale commercial and entertainment center; University City, the area surrounding the University of Pennsylvania, west of the Schuylkill river, which is home to a variety of boutiques and specialty shops; and the community of Manayunk northwest of Center City. A new shopping center near Philadelphia International Airport also draws large numbers of shoppers.

12. Education

Philadelphia, home of the first public school in the United States (opened in 1698), was also a pioneer in the education of gifted children, establishing special admission schools to meet the needs of students with special abilities in a variety of areas. Today Philadelphia has the nation's fifth-largest public school system, enrolling almost 220,000 students at all levels, from preschool through twelfth grade. In the fall of 1996, Philadelphia's public school enrollment was 63.8 percent black, 19.8 percent white, 11.6 percent Hispanic, and 4.7 percent Asian/Pacific. The school system employed 11,144 classroom teachers and 23,216 staff personnel.

The city of Philadelphia has about 20 post-secondary institutions, and its metropolitan area is home to nearly 90. The University of Pennsylvania, a private Ivy League college located in downtown Philadelphia, is over 250 years old. It was home to the nation's first medical school (1765), law school (1790), and business school (1881) and pioneered the integration of a classical education with modern fields of study. Situated west of the Schuylkill River since the 1870s, the university enrolls over 20,000 students in four undergraduate and 12 graduate schools. Located nearby is Drexel University.

Philadelphia is also home to the Curtis Institute, one of the nation's top music schools.

13. Health Care

There are more than 100 hospitals in the Philadelphia metropolitan area and six medical schools, as well as schools of nursing, dentistry, and pharmacology. There are major teaching hospitals affiliated with both the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.

Pennsylvania Hospital, part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, is the oldest hospital in the United States, established in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond (171284) and Benjamin Franklin (170690). This 505-bed facility was also home to the country's first surgical amphitheater and was the first hospital in the country to treat mental illness.

Temple University Hospital, affiliated with the Temple University Medical School, is a 514-bed facility that provided care to 20,000 patients and 150,000 outpatients in 1998. Its emergency department, a certified Level I regional trauma center, treats more than 37,000 patients a year. Community hospitals that belong to the Temple University Health System include Episcopal Hospital, Jeanes Hospital, Lower Bucks Hospital, Neumann Medical Center, and Northeastern Hospital. Also part of Temple's hospital system is Temple University Children's Medical Center.

Philadelphia is also home to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Wills Eye Hospital, both considered among the best in the country in their respective specialties.

14. Media

Philadelphia's major daily newspapers (with 1998 circulation figures) are the Philadelphia Inquirer, published seven mornings a week (weekdays, 428,895; Sunday, 880,918), and the Philadelphia Daily News, published Monday through Saturday evening (weekday circulation 175,448). (Both papers are now owned by the same company.) The Inquirer is better known for its national coverage, while the Daily News has more local news. City Paper and Philadelphia Weekly are free alternative weeklies with articles on local issues and entertainment listings. Monthly magazines include Philadelphia Magazine and Where Philadelphia Magazine.

All major television networks have affiliates in Philadelphia, and the metropolitan region is home to more than 30 am and FM radio stations providing news, music, and local features. The acclaimed interview program "Fresh Air," hosted by Terry Gross, originates from WHYY, Philadelphia's National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate, and is syndicated on NPR stations throughout the country.

15. Sports

Philadelphiawhere the world's first baseball game was played in 1860fields teams in all major-league sports. The Philadelphia Phillies, who won the National League championship in 1993 and advanced to the playoffs two years later, play at Veterans Stadium, which is also the home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association compete in the modern, $230 million First Union Center, as do the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League.

As an area with one of the nation's heaviest concentration of colleges, Greater Philadelphia has an active collegiate sports scene, many of whose games take place at Franklin Field and the Palestra in West Philadelphia. Every April, Franklin Field is the site of the Penn Relays, an intercollegiate and amateur track event. Also popular are regattas on the Schuylkill River.

16. Parks and Recreation

Fairmount Park, the largest landscaped park in the country, extends over 3,602 hectares (8,900 acres) northwest of Center City. In addition to 161 kilometers (100 miles) of hiking, bicycling, and bridle trails, the park also encompasses historic and cultural attractions, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Zoo (the nation's oldest), the historic Fairmount Waterworks, nearly 30 colonial mansions open to visitors, Japanese gardens and a teahouse, outdoor sculpture, and the Philadelphia Orchestra's summer home, the Mann Music Center. Visitors to the park can use hike-and-bike trails; rent rowboats and canoes for use on the Schuylkill River, which runs through the park, dividing it into eastern and western sections; visit the waterworks, built in 1840; tour the historic houses, which include Lemon Hill, Mt. Pleasant, Laurel Hill, Strawberry Mansion, and Chamounix Mansion; take their children to Smith Playground; take in horticultural exhibits; or visit the 40-hectare (99-acre) Laurel Hill Cemetery.

The metropolitan area has over 100 golf courses, five of which are 18-hole municipal courses operated by the city of Philadelphia. Tennis courts can be found in Fairmount Park, on the University of Pennsylvania campus, and at other locations. Philadelphia has 86 municipal swimming pools, and the Blue Cross River Rink at Penn's Landing is a popular spot for ice skating.

17. Performing Arts

Anchored by its symphony orchestra and the renowned Curtis Institute, Philadelphia has a top-notch classical music scene. The Philadelphia Orchestra, which grew to greatness under maestros including Leopold Stokowski and Eugene Ormandy, remains one of the best in the world under music director, Wolfgang Sawallisch. The orchestra presents a regular season of concerts at the Academy of Music between September and May and also plays a six-week summer season at the Mann Music Center amphitheatre in Fairmount Park.

The talented faculty and student of the Curtis Institute can be heard in regular solo recitals and chamber music concerts in the school's concert hall in Rittenhouse Square. The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presents concerts featuring well-known soloists and ensembles performing both classical and popular music. In addition, the city has its own chamber orchestra, the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra, as well as a group that specializes in contemporary music, the Relache Ensemble. The Opera Company of Philadelphia presents four fully staged opera productions annually at the Academy of Music.

Philadelphia presents varied opportunities for theater goers. In addition to traveling productions of Broadway plays, local audiences can attend productions by the resident company at the Walnut Street Theatre, the Philadelphia Theater Company, the Arden Theatre Company, and the American Music Theater Festival, which specializes in musical theater. The Wilma Theater is a respected troupe dedicated to presenting contemporary works, which are also the focus at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays and the InterAct Theatre Company.

The acclaimed Pennsylvania Ballet performs at the Academy of Music, the Annenberg Center, and the Merriam Theater, in a season that includes an annual performance of The Nutcracker in the original version choreographed by Balanchine. A variety of local groups make up the Philadelphia Dance Alliance. Movement Theatre International performances showcase dance and movement of all kinds, including mime and even circus acts.

18. Libraries and Museums

The Free Library of Philadelphia operates a central library downtown and 49 neighborhood branches. With a total of 7,983,088 items, the library has a circulation of over six million. Its special collections cover subject areas including fine prints and printmaking, automobiles, Judaica, choral music, jazz, Americana, British writer Beatrix Potter (18661943), and British illustrator Arthur Rackham (18671939). It also has an exceptional children's library.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the nation's third-largest art museum and one of its best. Its collection ranges from the middle ages to the present and features special attractions, including a medieval courtyard and fountain, a Gothic chapel, and a Hindu temple. Both older and contemporary European masters are represented, as well as a broad array of American artworks, including the decorative arts, and a variety of special exhibits. The Museum of American Art, housed in a distinguished Victorian building designed by Frank Furness and George Hewitt and extensively refurbished for the 1976 American bicentennial and further renovated in 1994, houses an outstanding collection of works by American artists from colonial times to the present. The Philadelphia Art Alliance promotes all the fine arts, displaying paintings, sculptures, and photography and also serving as a venue for readings, concerts, and dramatic performances.

With its rich history dating back to colonial times, Philadelphia is home to a variety of historic sites and historical museums. The Atwater-Kent Museum illuminates the city's history through exhibits detailing changing urban life over the past three hundred years. The Civil War Library and Museum houses a collection of research materials and artifacts from the war years, including a weapons display. Independence Seaport Museum, located at Penn's Landing, is devoted to the maritime history of the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay.

Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence was drafted), together with the nearby pavilion that houses the Liberty Bell, is Philadelphia's most famous historic site. Nearby are the quarters occupied by the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court in the 1790s when Philadelphia served as the nation's capital. Another major historic attraction in Philadelphia is Gloria Dei Church. Built in 1700 by early Swedish colonists in the region, it is the oldest church in Pennsylvania. The former home of poet and short-story writer Edgar Allan Poe (180949) has been turned into the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, which displays artifacts illuminating Poe's life and work.

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is devoted to the history of the world's cultures, while the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies focuses on Philadelphia's history as a major immigration center. In addition, several museums in Philadelphia are devoted to the history of specific ethnic groups. These include the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the Polish American Cultural Center, the American Swedish Historical Museum.

Philadelphia's legacy as the home of statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin is reflected in the city's distinguished science museums. Originally founded in 1824, the Franklin Institute Science Museum (also the site of the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial) was a leader in the development of hands-on science exhibits. The Academy of Natural Sciences has exhibits that include dioramas, hands-on experiments, and a gem and mineral display. The College of Physicians of Philadelphia sponsors both the C. Everett Koop Community Health Information Center and the Mütter Museum.

19. Tourism

An estimated three million tourists visit Philadelphia every year, drawn by the city's historic and cultural attractions. The Philadelphia Convention Center, located in the central historic district, has boosted the city's economy by creating new jobs in the service and retail sectors, as growing numbers of convention delegates visit Philadelphia.

20. Holidays and Festivals

Mummers Parade

Black Writer's Festival
Chocolate Festival
Junior Jazz Weekend
Mardi Gras Jamboree
PECO Energy Jazz Festival
U.S. Hot Rod Grand Slam Monster Jam

Book & Cook Fair
Maple Syrup Festival
Purim Festival
Philadelphia Boat Show
Philadelphia Flower Show

Historic Houses in Flower
Penn Relays
Springside School Antiques Show

Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema
Philadelphia Open House Tours

Chestnut Hill Garden Festival Blooms
Flower & Garden Festival
Devon Horse Show & Country Fair
Jam Festival
Jam on the River
Pennsylvania Fair

Festival of Fountains

First Union U.S. Pro Championship
Manayunk Arts Fest
Odunde African Street Festival & Marketplace
Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Annual

Welcome America

Philadelphia International Film Festival

Yo Philadelphia Festival

Bach Festival of Philadelphia

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

Advanta Tennis Championships for Women

Market Street East Holiday Festival

21. Famous Citizens

Marian Anderson (18971993), singer.

Mary Cassatt (18441926), painter.

Wilt Chamberlain (193699), basketball player.

W. C. Chamberlain (18791946), comic actor.

Thomas Eakins (18441916), painter.

Benjamin Franklin (170690), statesman and inventor.

Grace Kelly (192982), screen actress and princess of Monaco.

Margaret Mead (19011978), anthropologist.

William Penn (16441718), founder of Pennsylvania.

Edgar Allan Poe (180949), author.

Betsy Ross (17521836), flag maker.

22. For Further Study


Philadelphia City Net. [Online] Available (accessed December 8, 1999).

Philadelphia City Pages. [Online] Available (accessed December 8, 1999).

Philadelphia Liberty Net. [Online] Available (accessed December 8, 1999).

Philadelphia Online. [Online] Available (accessed December 8, 1999).

Government Offices

Mayor's Office
215 City Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(206) 686-2181

Philadelphia City Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 686-1776

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Philadelphia Convention Center
1101 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(206) 447-5000

Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
1515 Market St., Suite 2020
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 636-3300


Philadelphia Business Journal
400 Market St., Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Philadelphia Daily News
P.O. Box 7788
Philadelphia, PA 19101

Philadelphia Inquirer
P.O. Box 8263
Philadelphia, PA 19101


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Cotter, John L., Daniel G. Roberts, and Michael Parrington. The Buried Past: An Archaeological History of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.

Davis, Allen F., and Mark H. Haller, eds. The Peoples of Philadelphia: A History of Ethnic Groups and Lower-class Life, 17901940. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.

Ellison, Elaine Krasnow, and Elaine Mark Jaffe. Voices from Marshall Street: Jewish Life in a Philadelphia Neighborhood, 19201960. Philadelphia: Camino Books, 1994.

Gephart, Elizabeth S. Philadelphia with Children: A Guide to the Delaware Valley Including Lancaster and Hershey. Illustrated by Candace Stringer. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Camino Books, 1996.

Hulin-Salkin, Belinda. Greater Philadelphia: Into the Future, a Contemporary Portrait. 1st ed. Chatsworth, CA: Windsor Publications, 1991.

Hutchins, Catherine E. Shaping a National Culture: The Philadelphia Experience, 17501800. 1st ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1994.

Morrone, Francis. An Architectural Guidebook to Philadelphia. Photography by James Iska. 1st ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith, 1999.

Rockland, Michael Aaron. Snowshoeing Through Sewers: Adventures in New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994.

Seitz, Ruth Hoover. Philadelphia & Its Countryside. Photography by Blair Seitz ; foreword by James A. Michener. Harrisburg, PA: RB Books, 1994.

Stevick, Philip. Imagining Philadelphia: Travelers' Views of the City from 1800 to the Present. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996.

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Philadelphia: Economy

Philadelphia: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Manufacturing and the related distribution sector were traditionally the backbone of the Philadelphia economy. Since the end of World War II this industrial base has declined, as it has in many of the established industrial cities of the Northeast and upper Midwest, as many firms moved to new locations in the suburbs or migrated to other regions of the country. Today, the region has evolved into a more diverse economy geared toward information and service-based businesses.

Computer-based businesses, finance, telecommunications, insurance companies, and the printing and publishing industries are doing well. The biomedical field, encompassing hospitals, medical schools, pharmaceutical firms, research institutions, manufacturers of medical instruments and supplies, and medical publishing, is flourishing in Philadelphia. As manufacturing continues to recede, the city's educational and health institutions have come forward as important drivers of the regional economy. Education currently represents about 12 percent of city and 7 percent of suburban employment. Health services constitute about 18 percent of city jobs and 12 percent of those in the suburbs.

Few cities in the country can match Philadelphia's historic attractions, and the city plays host to millions of tourists each year. Thus, tourism remains an important segment of the local economy.

The Greater Philadelphia region has become one of the major corporate centers in the United States. Many companies are locating or expanding facilities in the area. They are attracted by the area's location at the center of the country's largest market, the access to transportation, the availability of medical, engineering, and business schools to supply technical talent, and the open land for industrial park development. Center City is still the financial, governmental, and cultural hub of the region. Concerted efforts over the last several years by government, business leaders, and concerned citizens to improve Philadelphia's reputation as a corporate host have borne fruit, and the city is continuing to be discovered as an attractive place to live and work.

Items and goods produced: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, office and computing equipment, telecomunications from fiber optics to celluar technology, instruments, biomedical products, fabricated metal products, paper products, processed foods, clothing, petrochemicals, machinery

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Businesses

Both Philadelphia and Pennsylvania sponsor programs to encourage business retention and growth.

Local programs

The city's three empowerment zones provide additional tax incentives and financing to transform these areas into thriving neighborhoods for businesses and workers. Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation enables the city to provide low-cost financing for acquisition, construction, and equipment. The city is eligible to receive state grants for site preparation and infrastructure for industrial development. Other programs provide individual businesses with low interest loans.

State programs

Funding programs offered by the state include bond financing, grants, loans and loan guarantees, tax credits and abatements, and technical assistance. The Key-stone Opportunity Zone has designated some 500 acres in a dozen zones throughout the Philadelphia area as exempt from state and local business taxes; these areas will remain virtually tax-exempt until 2013. Four state Enterprise Zones in Philadelphia are eligible for numerous incentives, including state tax credits, security rebates, low-interest loans, and technical assistance. The state's Job Creation Tax Credits program provides $1,000-per-job tax credit to approved businesses that agree to create jobs within three years.

Job training programs

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) assists in the development of the workforce by partnering with the Philadelphia Workforce Development Corporation (PWDC), the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center, and the Collegiate Consortium to provide job training, program funding, and technical assistance. The PIDC offers a broad spectrum of qualified workers, and can customize programs such as on-the-job training, for which the employer receives some reimbursement; targeted programming for specific populations; customized training for specific job skills; recruitment, and referral and assessment aid. The PWDC Transitional Workforce Division provides training, support, education, employment, and other services to some of the region's most needy job seekers.

Development Projects

Since the completion of new international and commuter terminals, along with enhanced airport roadways at Philadelphia International Airport, other improvements included the consolidation of Terminals B and C, which resulted in a new food, beverage, and retail gallery.

The University of the Arts, on the heels of a new academic building with a recital hall, classrooms, a studio theater, dance studios, and lecture halls, has $379 million worth of new and planned investments proposed for the Avenue of the Arts District. A nearly $200 million family-oriented entertainment complex at Penn's Landing, to serve as the locus of a revitalized waterfront, opened in mid-2001. The $255 million Regional Performing Arts Center, a 5,000-seat venue on the Avenue of the Arts, opened in 2002. A $65 million master site plan for Independence National Historic Park was completed in late 2002.

In 2004 the School District of Philadelphia, in cooperation with the Microsoft Corporation, broke ground on the School of the Future, ushering in a new era of technology and education. The school, which is the first of its kind designed to be a model for improved instructional development through the use of technology, is expected to open in 2006 and cost an estimated $50 million. After receiving a $30 million commitment from the City of Philadelphia, the Free Library is preparing to renovate its Beaux Arts building and add 160,000 square feet of additional space. Final plans for the project were expected to be in place by December 2005. The city's Neighborhood Transformation Initiate has gained national attention as one of the most comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategies ever attempted. The plan has created a framework for making neighborhoods cleaner and safer. A $100 million neighborhood revitalization project in the Cecil B. Moore Avenue area of North Philadelphia resulted in the completion of nearly 300 new homes. Plans are currently underway for a new mixed-use community along the Delaware River. The mayor's new Livable Neighborhoods Program focuses on improving Philadelphia's older neighborhoods.

The New River City initiative involves stimulating private investment along the city's waterfront. During 2004, the mayor and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation announced a master plan that includes the potential for $2 billion of private investment and the creation of 25,000 new jobs. The lower Schuylkill River will be home to a newly constructed River Park and Trail as well as a host of new residential projects and a 700,000-square-foot office tower. Also underway are redevelopment plans for the Civic Center and main Post Office. Improvements are also planned for the North and Central Delaware riverfront zones.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center will soon undergo major new construction that will double the existing facility. When the project is completed, the Center will have 541,000 square feet available, two ballrooms totaling 93,000 square feet, 87 meeting rooms, and a fully equipped main kitchen.

Economic Development Information: Philadelphia City Planning Commission, One Parkway Bldg., 1515 Arch Street, 13th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102; telephone (215)683-4615; fax (215)683-4630; email Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, 2600 Centre Square West, 1500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19101; telephone (215)496-8020

Commercial Shipping

Philadelphia's port, together with the ports in southern New Jersey and Delaware, form the Ports of Philadelphia. The Ports of Philadelphia, the largest freshwater shipping complex in the world, handle the largest volume of international tonnage on the East Coast. Major imports include crude oil, fruits, iron, steel, and paper. Exports include scrap metal and petroleum products. Most of the terminals in the city are owned by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority. With an infusion of state funds for capital improvements and the development of a new intermodal yard to serve three railroadsthe Chessie, CSX, and the Canadian Pacificthe Philadelphia terminals are poised for growth. Philadelphia's Port, Penn's landing, is the largest freshwater port in the United States.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

In the past, Philadelphia's economy was dominated by manufacturing, providing half of the city's jobs. But as manufacturing decreases, now accounting for just 5 percent of the city's employment, education and health have emerged as principal drivers of the local economy, accounting for 12 percent and 18 percent of the city's jobs, respectively. In addition, Philadelphia promotes itself as a center for biomedical and pharmaceutical companies. Few cities have the historical past of Philadelphia, and it remains a mecca for tourists.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Philadelphia city/county area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 655,800

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 11,200

manufacturing: 32,100

trade, transportation, and utilities: 90,400

information: 13,500

financial activities: 48,300

professional and business services: 84,100

educational and health services: 182,700

leisure and hospitality: 53,400

other services: 28,000

government: 112,200

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $15.73

Unemployment rate: 4.5% (April 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees
Federal Government 52,000
City of Philadelphia 30,000
Philadelphia School District 26,000
University of Philadelphia (incl. hospital) 22,605
Jefferson Health System 14,317
Temple University 12,000
MBNA 11,000
Merck and Company 10,000
DuPont 10,000

Cost of Living

Housing prices in Philadelphia tend to be lower than those in comparably sized cities, and are among the lowest in the Northeast, with a median home price of just $59,700 in 2002. The housing stock dates from the 18th and 19th centuries and the city encourages preservation of the existing stock with federal, state, and private aid. The tax burden overall is high relative to other large cities nationwide.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Philadelphia area.

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

State income tax rate: 3.07%

State sales tax rate: 6.0%

Local income tax rate: 2.8%

Local sales tax rate: 1.0%

Property tax rate: 8.26% on every $100 assessed

Economic Information: Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Business 200 S. Broad St., Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19107; telephone (215)545-1234

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Philadelphia: Recreation

Philadelphia: Recreation


Philadelphia ranks third in the nation among cities with the greatest number of historic sites. Notable among them are Independence National Historical Park, dubbed "the most historic square mile in America," where the many landmarks either remain intact as they existed 200 years ago or have been restored. Independence Hallwhere the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were writtenis among the park's 26 interesting sites, which also include the Liberty Bell Pavilion, the Second Bank of the United States, and City Tavern, a reconstruction of the Revolutionary-era inn that operates today, serving visitors fare commonly prepared 200 years ago.

Historic homes throughout the city are open to the publicincluding Franklin Court and the Betsy Ross Houseand many architectural styles are represented. Several historic churches also remain in Philadelphia. Other points of interest are the United States Mint and Penn's Landing, where harbor tours are available. The city is known, too, for its fine parks, including Fairmount Park, reportedly the largest landscaped urban park in the world and site of the nation's first zoo. The Park contains more than 200 pieces of sculpture. Philadelphia and its environs can be toured by bus or trolley.

Arts and Culture

Philadelphia's efforts to strengthen its downtown artistic attractions are centered on a 3.5-mile-long stretch along Broad Street dubbed the Avenue of the Arts. The Academy of Music, opened in 1857, is located there in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center. The Kimmel Center is also home to the world-class Philadelphia Orchestra, Philly Pops, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, American Theater Arts for Youth, and several others.

The Arden Theater is a professional regional theater, offering theatrical and educational programs and productions. Other leading Philadelphia theater groups include the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Venture Theatre, Freedom Theatre, Hedgerow Theatre, Society Hill Playhouse, and the Media Theater for Performing Arts. Broadway and off-Broadway productions are presented at Forrest Theater and at the Merriam Theater at the University of the Arts. The Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania presents the annual Dance Celebration, children's shows, and other performances in its three theaters. Several other university-affiliated theaters stage productions as well.

The Pennsylvania's Ballet's annual performance of The Nutcracker has become a holiday tradition. Dance performances are also presented at the Annenberg Center and by other leading troupes such as Philadanco and the Leon Evans Dance Theatre.

Considered one of the world's great art museums, the Philadelphia Museum of Art houses more than 500,000 works dating from the Western Middle Ages onward; Asian art is also represented. The Museum also runs the Rodin Museum, said to possess the largest collection of that artist's sculptures outside of Paris, and historic houses in Fairmount Park (seven of these are open to the public at Christmas, decorated as they might have been when built). The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, one of the oldest art museums and schools in the country and deemed an architectural masterpiece, displays more than seven thousand works of American art dating from 1750. The Barnes Foundation Gallery features more than 1,000 rarely seen works by the Impressionists and other nineteenth-century painters. The Academy of Natural Sciences Museum, the nation's oldest institution of its kind, features such exhibits as "Butterflies" and "Raptors: Hunter of the Sky". A national memorial to Benjamin Franklin, the Franklin Institute Science Museum and Planetarium features fascinating exhibits that move and can be moved, and it houses many of Franklin's personal effects. Philadelphia's newer museums include the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum, the Mummers Museum, and the Port of History Museum at Penn's Landing; the latter features changing local and international exhibits of arts and crafts and photography. The Perelman Antique Toy Museum and the Please Touch Museum specialize in childrens' interests. In addition, many small museums are housed in restored buildings throughout the city.

Arts and Culture Information: Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, 1616 Walnut, Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5306, telephone (215)557-7811

Festivals and Holidays

Philadelphia welcomes the new year with its famous New Year's Day parade, featuring 30,000 Mummers (costumed and/or masked musicians and actors). February features the Philadelphia's Pepsi String Band Show of Shows, an indoor musical extravaganza, which leads to March's Philadelphia Flower Show (considered the top such event in the country), the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and the Book and Cook Festival, which teams famous cookbook authors with local chefs to create culinary wonders. The arrival of spring is heralded in Philadelphia by Valborgsmassoafton (Spring Festival), a Swedish tradition. During its annual Sunoco Welcome America! Philadelphia celebrates the Fourth of JulyIndependence Daywith gusto: four nights of music, fireworks, a food festival, and a parade culminate in the Mummers' performance of a special summer "strut" at Independence Hall. The Philadelphia Festival in August, one of the country's oldest outdoor musical events, has become an end-of-summer ritual for "folkies" from around the country. The Craft Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in November, sponsored by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has had a great influence on the current American crafts revival. Philadelphia's Thanksgiving Day Parade in November is the oldest of its kind in the country.

The city in addition hosts the PECO Energy Jazz Festival, Jam on the River, Army-Navy Football Game, and many other ethnically-related festivals, music festivals, and art fairs.

Sports for the Spectator

With more than 200 years of athletic competition history, Philadelphia is considered a premier sports city. Along with a busy annual sports calendar, first-class facilities, 10 professional teams, and more than 60 intercollegiate athletic programs, the city has also hosted many premiere sporting events such as the 2002 NBA All-Star Game. The nation's fourth largest media market, Philadelphia boasts extensive athletic facilities, including the Liacouras Center at Temple University and Wachovia Complex, where the National Hockey League Flyers host games during the season. Two new state-of-the-art facilities contribute to Philadelphia's reputation as a top sports location: the National Football League Eagles' new home, Lincoln Financial Field, opened in August 2003, while the Major League Baseball Phillies' new ballpark, Citizens Bank Park, opened in April 2004.

Suburban to Philadelphia are a number of racetracks offering thoroughbred racing from summer through winter and trotter racing in the summer only. The Wings indoor lacrosse team add variety to the city's sports offerings.

Collegiate athletic events of all kinds are regularly scheduled at the many colleges and universities in the area.

Sports for the Participant

While Philadelphia's park system includes hundreds of parks and playgrounds, Fairmount Park is the center of the city's recreational activities. Located throughout its 9,204 landscaped acres are 215 miles of trails; baseball diamonds and tennis courts; football, soccer, cricket, field hockey, and rugby fields; golf courses; a rowing course and a stocked trout stream; and a variety of other recreational opportunities. The RiverRink at Penn's Landing offers public skating days and evenings from November through February.

The city maintains six municipal golf courses. Indoor tennis is available at the University of Pennsylvania's Robert P. Levy Tennis Pavilion.

Shopping and Dining

Philadelphia is a city of shops rather than huge merchandising outlets. From major department stores, such as Strawbridge's, to complexes such as The Shops at Liberty Place, to the boutiques and specialty shops of Rittenhouse Row, the city is brimming with fine shopping. A downtown area renaissance has attracted many new stores and shopping areas. Casual South Street offers a colorful variety of galleries, avant garde fashions, antique shops, and bookstores. Society Hill, a restored colonial neighborhood, is home to a waterfront shopping complex. The Bourse, across from Independence Hall, houses a collection of specialty shops and restaurants in a restored Victorian stock exchange. A few blocks away is Pine Street's Antique Row. The Gallery at Market East contains more than 230 shops and restaurants. Jewelers' Row is one of the world's largest and oldest diamond centers. The stretches north, south, and west of downtown contain several shopping centers, including the Shops of Chestnut Hill in the historic Germantown neighborhood, and the lively Italian Market.

Philadelphia has been called one of the best restaurant cities in the country, and its Le Bec Fen is a local favorite. New restaurants are proliferating in Philadelphia, and national and international cuisines are well represented in the city's restaurants, where dining styles range from casual to elegant. Seafood is a local favorite, as are Philadelphia cheese-steaks and soft pretzels with mustard. Early in colonial history, Pennsylvania Dutch scrapplean aromatic mixture of cornmeal and pork scraps formed into a loafbecame essential to the proper Philadelphian's breakfast menu, and this specialty can still be found on regional bills of fare, as can Philadelphia Pepper Pot, a peppery tripe soup. At the Reading Terminal Market, formerly a hub for trains and food distributors, 80 merchants cater to the lunchtime crowd, offering unusual multiethnic fare ranging from Mexican mole to Mennonite-made shoo-fly pies.

Visitor Information: Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1700 Market Street, Suite 3000, Philadelphia, PA 19103; telephone (215)636-3300

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USA, 1993

Director: Jonathan Demme

Production: TriStar Pictures; colour, 35mm; sound; running time: 120 minutes. Filmed in Philadelphia, 1993.

Producer: Edward Saxon, Jonathan Demme; screenplay: Ron Nyswaner; photography: Tak Fujimoto; editor: Craig McKay; assistant director: Ron Bozman, Drew Ann Rosenberg; production design: Kristi Zea; art director: Tim Galvin; music: Howard Shore; sound editor: Ron Bochar; sound recording: Chris Newman, Steve Scanlon.

Cast: Tom Hanks (Andrew Beckett); Denzel Washington (Joe Miller); Jason Robards (Charles Wheeler); Mary Steenburgen (Belinda Conine); Antonio Banderas (Miguel Alvarez); Ron Vawter (Bob Seidman); Robert Ridgley (Walter Kenton); Charles Napier (Judge Garnett); Lisa Summerour (Lisa Miller); Joanne Woodward (Sarah Backett); Roberta Maxwell (Judge Tate); Roger Corman (Mr. Laird).

Awards: Oscar for Best Actor (Hanks), 1993.



Kael, Pauline, Pauline Kael on Jonathan Demme: A Selection of Reviews Accompanying the Retrospective Jonathan Demme, an American Director, Minneapolis, 1988.

Bliss, Michael, and Christiana Banks, What Goes Around Comes Around: The Films of Jonathan Demme, Carbondale, 1996.

Falaschi, Francesco, Jonathan Demme, Milan, 1997.


McCarthy, T., Variety (New York), 20 December 1993.

Bruzzi, S., Sight and Sound (London), March 1994.

Taubin, A., "The Odd Couple," in Sight and Sound (London), March 1994.

Mueller, Matt, "The Philadelphia Story," in Empire (London), March 1994.

Derrett, A., in Film Score Monthly (Los Angeles), no. 44, April 1994.

Grundman, R., and P. Sacks, Cineaste (New York), No. 3, 1994.

Pearson, H., Films in Review (New York), No. 3/4, 1994.

Harty, K.J., "The Failures of Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia" in Four Quarters (Philadelphia), Spring 1994.

Stanbrook, Alan, Sunday Telegraph, 9 October 1994.

Mechar, K.W., "'Every Problem Has a Solution': AIDS and the Cultural Recuperation of the American Nuclear Family in Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia," in Spectator (Los Angeles), vol. 15, no. 1, 1994.

Cante, R., "A Report from Philadelphia and Somewhere Else," in Spectator (Los Angeles), vol. 15, no. 2, 1995.

Weis, E., "Sync Tanks," in Cineaste (New York), vol. 21, no. 1/2 1995.

Sandler, A., "Philadelphia Suit Near Accord," in Variety (New York), 12/18 February 1996.

Evans, G., "Philadelphia Story Raises Muddy Issues in Filmmaking," in Variety (New York), vol. 362, 18/24 March 1996.

Evans, G., and A. Sandler, "TriStar Settles Philadelphia Suit," in Variety (New York), vol. 362, 25/31 March 1996.

Van Fuqua, Joy, "'Can You Feel It, Joe?': Male Melodrama and the Family Man," in Velvet Light Trap (Austin), no. 38, Fall 1996.

Kenny, Glenn, "Jonathan Demme," in Premiere (Boulder), vol. 12, no. 3, November 1998.

* * *

Knowing old heads around Hollywood shook with dismay when Jonathan Demme revealed his plan to follow up the surprisingly successful The Silence of the Lambs with another of the risky ventures he was noted for, a major production featuring homosexuality and AIDS. Films about homosexuality (since a revision in the Production Code in 1969 made the word even mentionable in films), from the camp The Gay Deceivers (1969) to the James Ivory/Ismail Merchant adaptation of E.M. Forster's long suppressed novel Maurice (1986), had never done well at the box office. Films dealing with AIDS, such as Longtime Companion, had played to small audiences on the small art theatre circuit. It can be argued that the cinema is developing a new, more mature audience as Philadelphia was a financial and critical success in a year that saw Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List and Ivory/Merchant's Remains of the Day. Nor did Philadelphia stir up as much controversy as nervous exhibitors had feared from protesting religious fundamentalists and other reactionary lobbies. Probably these pressure groups had given up any hope for an industry that wallowed in decadence and indecency. Surprisingly most objections to the film came from the expanding gay press that thought Demme should have taken a more militant line demanding action to conquer AIDS, the modern plague. Tom Hanks, who won the 1993 Academy Award for best actor for his extraordinarily demanding performance as AIDS victim Andrew Beckett, acknowledged this protest and explained to interviewer David Thomson:

I think it's all very legitimate criticism . . . I'm not surprised at all that . . . anybody who is part of that aspect of the gay community that is, what? Counter-culture or whatever. What they wanted was something that was going to represent their lives. Philadelphia didn't do that. . . . But past that, you have to say, yes, that's true, but look what the movie is for what it is, not what it is not.

The storyline is for the most part straightforward. The mise-enscène is, with one startling exception, as naturalistic as possible, especially in colour. An outstandingly promising and personable young lawyer is entrusted with a top assignment by the most prominent and respected law firm in the city. (Viewers may wonder why Philadelphia, not particularly prominent in the AIDS crisis, was chosen as the setting. The city has a traditional reputation in the United States for producing the sharpest lawyers, trained, like Beckett, at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.) The firm claims that he has been dismissed for inefficiency and failure to live up to his promise; but he claims that he was fired when they discovered he had AIDS, and he sues on the grounds that it is against the law to fire an individual for a disability that does not prevent the fulfillment of his or her duties. No other lawyer, however, is willing to oppose the powerful firm until Beckett breaks through the prejudices of a former adversary, struggling black lawyer Joe Miller, who wins the case. Justice is done in legalistic terms, but everyone loses. Beckett dies shortly after the jury decides in his favour; the old law firm loses a good deal of money and some of its long-cherished reputation; the Beckett family loses a brilliant son; and the future of Joe Miller and of Beckett's Hispanic-American lover do not appear promising despite their immediate financial rewards.

The film is not about AIDS as a social and political problem. It uses the enormous present concern over the epidemic as a means to an end in broaching a far larger, timeless problem. The issue that concerns the filmmakers is based upon a distinction that has been crucially central to the American protest movements—whether this is a nation based upon people or upon law, as Andrew Beckett makes clear when he justifies his suit by explaining, "I love the law, to see justice done."

The film is a very rare example of the oldest form of drama in the European tradition, classical tragedy in a medium that has been almost entirely exploited by melodrama. So far the most substantial and challenging reservations about the film have been directed at the sudden change three-quarters of the way through, from the neutral naturalism of the visual image to an unprecedented surrealistic sequence during an interview between Beckett and Joe Miller, his attorney. Miller has been trying to keep his client's mind on the testimony that he will give the next day; but Beckett becomes evasive and puts on a recording of Maria Callas singing the aria "La Momma Morta" from Umberto Giordano's opera André Chénier. The screen is suffused with a demonic red glow as a smouldering fireplace blazes forth, symbolizing the passionate fire burning in Beckett.

The producers tried to cut this episode, and many reviewers have found it irrelevant and fatuous; but Demme and Hanks fought to retain it, even though its significance has been generally misunderstood. Typical of the bewildered reaction is Alan Stanbrook's comment in The Sunday Telegraph that "many will wince at the embarrassing scene where Hanks tries to explain what opera means to gays." As Hanks stressed in this interview, the film does not attempt to represent some collective psyche of the gay community. The episode is a strictly personal statement, as he moves from routine questions about the litigation into the vision that explains his sometimes inscrutable behaviour, when Beckett speaks for himself as an "adventurous spirit," declaiming histrionically over the soaring music: "I am divine. I am oblivious. I am the god come down from the heavens to earth to make of earth a heaven."

This reference to divinity establishes the link between classic tragedy and the film. Whether intentionally or not, scriptwriter Roy Nyswaner echoes the myth of Philocetes, a great bowman, who is banished during the Trojan War by his fellow Greeks to a deserted island when a snakebite gives him a noxious and incurable wound; but they must bring him back as a seer decrees that Troy can only be taken with his bow and arrows. Philocetes comes to a happier end than Andrew Beckett, but their relationship is highlighted by one of the key lines in the film as the jury playing the role of the classic chorus decides that when the firm gave Beckett the big assignment, they were sending in not a disappointing employee, but their "top gun."

Even more pervasive as a subtext throughout the film is the myth of Icarus, the son of the ingenious Daedulus, who made the men wax wings with which to fly out of the labyrinth where they were imprisoned. Icarus flew too close to the sun and the wax melted, so that he fell to his death in the sea. Andrew Beckett is another "adventurous spirit" who has flown too high and taken too many risks. In the surrealist opera episode, viewers are presented a glimpse beneath the quotidian reality of the legal proceedings into the inner vision of Andrew Beckett, who is motivated by a principle that David Thomson finds at work in some of Hank's other films, that "Fantasy soars above any hope of duty or intelligence." Beckett is brilliant, seeking to end injustice and make a heaven on earth; but he is also oblivious to dangerous risks in his pursuit of the ideal. This complex and still puzzling film shows the possibilities rarely realized so far of using the cinema to update classic myths as they have been used in the past in literature to probe our present condition.

—Warren French

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Philadelphia: History

Philadelphia: History

Quakers Receive Pennsylvania Grant

At the time the first settlers of European descent arrived in the area now known as Philadelphia, it was inhabited chiefly by Native Americans who called themselves Lenni-Lenape; settlers called them Delawares. Intertribal warfare had weakened the native tribes, and the advance of colonial settlement pushed them farther west, causing great hostility.

The Netherlands laid claim to the area in 1609 when Henry Hudson, an Englishman in the Dutch service, sailed into Delaware Bay, and around 1647 the Dutch began to build trading posts. The Dutch were ousted by the English in 1664.

In 1681 England's King Charles granted William Penn the territory now known as Pennsylvania in exchange for a debt owed Penn's father. Penn, wealthy and well educated, had committed himself to the Society of Friends, also called Quakers, who practiced a form of religion generally regarded by society with suspicion because of its tenets and its insistence upon simplicity in speech and dress. Penn himself had been imprisoned four times for voicing his beliefs, and King Charles was only too happy to be rid of him and his followers.

Although he had been granted all the land in Pennsylvania, Penn chose to buy the claims of any native people still living there, which set a new standard in colonial settlers' relations with Native Americans. Penn dispatched his cousin to lay out a city, which he called Philadelphia, from the Greek for "brotherly love," and which Penn envisioned as a haven for his fellow Quakers to enjoy freedom of worship and the chance to govern themselves. He charged his cousin with laying out a "greene Country Towne, which will never be burnt, and always be wholesome." The city was laid out in a grid, with large lots, wide streets, and a provision for five city parks, four of which still survive. Historians note that Philadelphia was one of the first cities in the New World built according to a plan.

The Quakers were not only humanitarians but shrewd businesspeople as well. They offered large tracts of land at reasonable prices and advertised throughout Europe for settlers. Attracted by the liberality and tolerance of the Quaker government, and looking for better economic opportunities, thousands of immigrant families soon began arriving, including a group of German Quakers who established the first German settlement in America.

Prosperity and Culture Distinguish City

From the beginning Philadelphia was a leading agricultural area, and because of its location at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, shipyards flourished. Farm products were exchanged for sugar and rum in the West Indies, and these in turn were exchanged for English manufactured goods. Abundant natural resources, including coal and iron, helped Philadelphia become an early industrial leader. Other significant early industries included home manufacture of textiles, printing, publishing, and papermaking. By the 1770s Philadelphia was one of the most important business centers in the British Empire.

This prosperity and William Penn's principles attracted the best minds of the day to Philadelphia. Among the city's illustrious early residents was the young Benjamin Franklin, scientist and intellectual. His many accomplishments include the publication of the Pennsylvania Gazette, one of the best of the colonial newspapers; he also established the colonies' first hospital, first free library, and first learned society, the American Philosophical Society. Perceiving the need for higher education, Franklin was instrumental in the founding of the institution that later became the University of Pennsylvania.

During the late 1700s many fine private and public buildings were constructed in Philadelphia, such as Andrew Hamilton's Independence Hall. Oil painting flourished, and Philadelphia came to be known as an "Athens of America." By 1774 a sophisticated populace was chafing at the restrictions placed on them by the British king. Because of Philadelphia's strategic location near the middle of colonial settlement, and the importance of winning Quaker support, the delegates who formed the First Continental Congress in 1774 chose Philadelphia as the site for their discussions. The Second Continental Congress proclaimed the colonists' Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, and when the Revolutionary War broke out in full force, Philadelphia became the capital of the revolutionary movement. Following the American patriots' victory at Yorktown, the Constitutional Convention delegates met in Philadelphia, and in 1787 they framed the document that was to become the basis of America's governmental structure. Philadelphia then served as the capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800.

In the early 1800s Philadelphia began an ambitious program of building canals and railroads and developing coal fields, thus laying the foundation of its industrial power. Philadelphia's railroad lines, which by 1834 comprised a quarter of the nation's total, expedited the development of industry.

New Residents Meet Modern Challenges

When the issue of slavery became acute, many African American leaders centered their activities in Philadelphia, and the city became the focal point of one of the most important African American communities in the nation. Philadelphia's industrial strength contributed to the Union's military and economic advantage over the South during the Civil War of 1861 to 1865.

Pennsylvania had been one of the first colonies to admit Catholics and Jews. The increasing demand for factory workers in the late 1800s and early 1900s attracted hundreds of thousands of immigrants of Irish, German, Italian, and Polish descent, who created many distinctive ethnic neighborhoods throughout the city. At the same time, the development of the railroad made commuting easier, and the city's elite began moving to the suburbs thatas they grew up along the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroadbecame known as the "Main Line." By the 1930s the modern city had emerged, with outlying residential districts segregated by income, race, and ethnic origin.

Philadelphia's industrial progress brought with it the exacerbation of differences in wealth. After the Great Depression of the 1930s Philadelphia became a union town, and labor strikes were common. Political machines that had emerged after the Civil War became sophisticated in the ways of manipulating the political processes, particularly through the new immigrant groups. Discrimination in housing resulted in overcrowded African American districts. During the 1960s Philadelphia was shaken by race riots born of decades of inadequate housing and discriminatory practices.

A reform movement, begun in 1939, prompted Philadelphia in 1951 to adopt a new city charter and elect Mayor Joseph Clark, who began a vast urban renewal program. Slated for completion in the early 21st century, this program called for the improvement of highways and the transportation system, housing projects, and the building of more libraries, parks, and shopping and recreation centers. However, a recession and mounting social problems saw Philadelphia teetering on the edge of bankruptcy by the early 1990s.

Economic Woes Reversed

A former prosecutor, Edward G. Rendell, was sworn in as the mayor in 1992, promising "dramatic change from top to bottom." On his watch Rendell was credited with bringing labor costs into line, rallying Philadelphia's business community, bringing back strong bond ratings, and securing the 2000 Republican National Convention, as well as spurring a resurgence in development in the city, from a new $500 million convention center, to the $330 million Avenue of the Arts.

In 2000, John Street became mayor of Philadelphia. The former Philadelphia city council president had worked with Rendell and helped save the city of Philadelphia from bankruptcy, turning a $250 million deficit into the largest surplus in Philadelphia history in 1998. A lawyer and one-time activist, Street is the city's second African American mayor. Now entering his second term, Street continues to serve as a role model for his teenage son and all the city's young people of color.

Historical Information: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107; telephone (215)732-6200; fax (215)732-2680; email

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PHILADELPHIA. Founded in 1682, Philadelphia has throughout its long history been notable for its religious and ethnic diversity, importance as a center of trade

and commerce, and role in perpetuating learning and the arts. Although many have quipped that its moniker as the City of Brotherly Love is something of a misnomer—Philadelphia sports fans once famously booed Santa Claus at halftime of a professional football game—its significance in American history is undeniable.

During the colonial period, Philadelphia embodied its founder William Penn's ethos of religious pluralism and tolerance. By the mid-eighteenth century, Philadelphia was home to more religious denominations than any other American city, featuring vibrant Quaker, Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, and Moravian congregations, among others. Philadelphia was also early America's most cosmopolitan city, with significant numbers of Swede, German, and Scottish settlers in addition to its English majority. Colonial Philadelphia was home to several notable intellectual institutions, including the Library Company (the oldest lending library in America), the American Philosophical Society (the oldest scientific association in America), and the College of Philadelphia (later the University of Pennsylvania), the only nondenominational college in colonial America. In 1776, Philadelphia was the largest city in colonial British America with 28,400 residents. Its pivotal role in the Revolutionary and early national eras testifies to its status as early America's first city; it served as the site for the Continental Congress from 1774 through 1783, for the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and as the new nation's capital from 1790 to 1800. Perhaps the two most important founding documents in American history, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, were written in the City of Brotherly Love. It continued as an important intellectual and cultural center through the early nineteenth century; the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts, founded in 1805, was the new nation's first art school.

The early nineteenth century saw New York eclipse Philadelphia as the United States' largest and most significant commercial city. Despite Philadelphia's financial significance—it was home to both the First and Second Bank of the United States—the rapid settlement of upstate New York and the consequent expansion of New York City's hinterland fueled its growth at Philadelphia's expense. Despite this economic change, Philadelphia continued to be a center of religious and ethnic diversity during the antebellum era. Home to one of the largest free African American populations in the United States, Philadelphia also played a pivotal role in black religious life. Fighting racial discrimination in the city's churches, the minister Richard Allen culminated a long struggle for independence with the organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the nation's first black religious denomination. Perhaps because of its religious diversity, Philadelphia was also the site of fierce and often violent conflict. The 1840s and 1850s saw nativist Protestants incite riots against local German and, especially, Irish Catholic immigrants; in 1844, nativists even burned several Catholic churches to the ground. Antebellum Philadelphia continued to be a significant commercial and industrial center, a leader in the textile, shipbuilding, and locomotive industries. The city expanded, and its population reached 565,529 by the eve of the Civil War—the second largest city in the United States. By the time of the city's Centennial Exposition in 1876, Philadelphia was one of the largest cities in both Europe and America, surpassed only by New York, London, and Paris.

Although during the Gilded and Progressive Eras Philadelphia continued to be an important cultural and educational center, the city began to decline economically in the twentieth century. The city's economy, based mainly on light manufacturing, metal products, textiles, food products, and chemical industries, as well as the largest refining operations on the east coast, began to stagnate during this period. Nevertheless, the city maintained a world-class stature in the arts through institutions like the Academy of the Fine Arts (where artists and teachers like Thomas Eakins had helped build an American art movement in the late nineteenth century), The Philadelphia Orchestra (founded in 1900), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (founded in 1928). The city was by then also home to more than a dozen colleges and universities and six medical schools.

Despite a brief upturn around World War II—largely the result of wartime military production and the efforts of reform mayors like Joseph S. Clark Jr. and Richardson

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Dilworth after the war—the city suffered from the same urban decline that afflicted most American industrial cities in the twentieth century. In an effort to attract middle-class and upper-class residents back to Philadelphia, the city made pioneering efforts at urban renewal and revitalized certain neighborhoods, but failed to stem the tide out of the city as a whole. Philadelphia's population began to drop in the postwar period. Following a high of 2,072,000 residents in 1950, the city's population had declined by more than 18 percent by 1980, losing nearly 300,000 residents from 1970 to 1980 alone.

Most of this change was the result of "white flight" to the region's rapidly growing suburbs; the city's minority population reached 40 percent during this period. Racial and political tensions accompanied these economic and demographic changes, epitomized by Frank L. Rizzo. A former police chief who served two terms as mayor in the 1970s, Rizzo was extremely popular among Philadelphia's white ethnic population for his aggressive efforts against crime, while the city's African Americans felt he pandered to white fears through his blatant efforts to link crime and race. In the 1980s, W. Wilson Goode, the city's first African American mayor, won acclaim for handling race relations well but received criticism for alleged administrative incompetence. Under Edward G. Rendell's mayoral administration in the 1990s, the city's fortunes improved somewhat. Following near-bankruptcy in 1991, Rendell was able to put the city on firmer financial footing and largely stem the flow of jobs and residents out of the city to the suburbs. Despite Rendell's success, in 2002 it was still uncertain whether his administration marked a temporary aberration in Philadelphia's history or a true revitalization for one of the United States' oldest, most historically significant, and culturally important cities.


Bissinger, Buzz. A Prayer for the City. New York: RandomHouse, 1997.

Nash, Gary B. First City: Philadelphia and the Forging of Historical Memory. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.

Warner, SamBass, Jr. The Private City: Philadelphia in Three Periods of Its Growth. 2d ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1987.

Weigley, Russell F., ed. Philadelphia: A 300-Year History. New York: Norton, 1982.


See alsoPennsylvania .

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Philadelphia (city, United States)

Philadelphia, city (1990 pop. 1,585,577), coextensive with Philadelphia co., SE Pa., on the Delaware River c.100 mi (160 km) upstream at the influx of the Schuylkill River; chartered 1701. It is the fifth largest city in the United States and has been a leading commercial and cultural center since the 18th cent. An important trading and manufacturing hub even before the Revolution, it maintains a diversified industrial base. Chemicals; metal, paper, and plastic products; foods; textiles; apparel; machinery; electrical and electronic products; transportation equipment; scientific instruments; and furniture are among its manufactures. The metropolitan area's newer industries include health-care and biotechnology firms. Its printing and publishing industry is important, and there are major oil refineries. Philadelphia is also a banking center.

Institutions and Landmarks

A nucleus of American culture in colonial times (among its prominent citizens at that time was the scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin), Philadelphia is still the seat of many philosophical, artistic, dramatic, musical, and scientific societies. Among these are the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1805); the Academy of Natural Sciences (1812); the American Philosophical Society (1743); and the Science Museum of the Franklin Institute (1824), which now includes the Benjamin Franklin Memorial (1933), an important unit of which is the Fels Planetarium. In nearby Merion is the Barnes Foundation, with an extraordinary collection of paintings. Musical activities flourish in the city, whose outstanding symphony orchestra plays in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. In Fairmount Park, the largest city park in the United States, are the Philadelphia Museum of Art, zoological gardens, and many historic monuments and shrines.

Many early historic shrines are also in Independence National Historical Park (est. 1956). Among them are Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed; the Liberty Bell; the neighboring Congress Hall, where Congress met from 1790 to 1800 and where Washington gave his farewell address; and Carpenters' Hall, where the First Continental Congress met. The modern National Constitution Center also is here. Near Elfreth's Alley, a narrow street that has retained its colonial air, is the Betsy Ross House, where, according to one story, the first American flag was made.

City Hall, one of the nation's largest, is a conspicuous building with a tower surmounted by a statue of William Penn. Also of interest are the Rodin Museum; the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church; and Christ Church (begun in 1727), a representative example of Colonial architecture. Edgar Allan Poe's house has also been preserved. The historic 18th-century houses in the Society Hill section are additional tourist attractions, as is the restored Revolutionary War Fort Mifflin.

Philadelphia has over 30 educational institutions, including the Univ. of Pennsylvania, Temple Univ., Drexel Univ., La Salle Univ., Chestnut Hill College, St. Joseph's Univ., Curtis Institute of Music, Thomas Jefferson Univ., the Univ. of the Arts, and Philadelphia Univ. A sports complex in S Philadelpha is home to the National Basketball Association's 76ers, the National Hockey League's Flyers, the National Football League's Eagles, and the National League's Phillies. A casino opened on the Delaware NE of Center City in 2010.

Installations of the U.S. Mint, the Federal Reserve System, and the Internal Revenue Service are in the city. The U.S. Naval Shipyard, once the most prominent of Philadelphia's military installations, was closed in 1995; a commercial shipyard and other businesses are now on the site.


Early History

The site was first occupied by Native Americans. In the 17th cent. there was a Swedish settlement; the land was soon claimed by the Dutch and then contested by the British. William Penn acquired it through a grant from Charles II of England and in 1682 founded Philadelphia, the "City of Brotherly Love," intended as a refuge for the peaceable Quakers—hence the nickname Quaker City. Its commercial, industrial, and cultural growth was rapid, and by 1774 it was second only to London as the largest English-speaking city. It was the seat of the Continental Congress and served as the American capital from 1777 to 1788, except during the British occupation (Oct., 1777–June, 1778) after the battle of Brandywine. It was the capital of the new republic from 1790 to 1800, as well as the state capital (to 1799). The two Banks of the United States (1791–1811; 1816–36) were there (see Bank of the United States). The bank buildings are examples of Greek revival architecture.

Modern Philadelphia

Despite an ambitious program of urban redevelopment initiated in the 1950s, the city experienced the decay of its economic base and a sharp decline in population through subsequent decades. Longstanding tensions erupted in race riots in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Frank Rizzo, a former police commissioner with a political base among the city's working-class whites, was elected mayor. Wilson Goode became Philadelphia's first black mayor in 1983. His administration was shaken by the controversial firebombing of a city block containing the home of an armed organization of black radicals. The decline of the central city was met in part by the construction of new office buildings downtown and development projects on the Delaware River waterfront, but the metropolitan area, long noted for its wealthy and exclusive suburbs (especially along the fabled Main Line), witnessed dramatic growth. Since 1986, however, when developers were first permitted to build higher than Penn's statue atop the city hall, the center city skyline has undergone dramatic changes. The city government came close to bankruptcy in 1990.


See S. B. Warner, Jr., Private City (1968); R. S. Wurman and J. A. Gallery, Man-Made Philadelphia (1972); P. O. Muller et al., Metropolitan Philadelphia (1976); W. W. Cutler III and H. Gillette, Jr., ed., The Divided Metropolis (1980); T. Hershberg, ed., Philadelphia: Work, Space, Family and Group Experience in the Nineteenth Century (1981); A. A. Summers and T. F. Luce, Economic Development within the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area (1986).

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Philadelphia: Education and Research

Philadelphia: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Authority for Philadelphia's school system, the seventh largest in the nation by enrollment, is vested in a nine-member board of education appointed by the mayor. The city was one of the first in the nation to recognize the needs of gifted children, and it supports a range of special admission schools providing programs for students ranging from academically gifted to talented in the creative and performing arts.

In 2004, the District in cooperation with the Microsoft Corporation broke ground on the School of the Future, ushering in a new era of technology and education. The school, which is the first of its kind designed to be a model for improved instructional development through the use of technology, is expected to open in 2006.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Philadelphia public schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 196,309

Number of facilities elementary schools: 175

junior high/middle schools: 43

other: 55, including 43 neighborhood and magnet high schools, vocational-technical and special schools

Student/teacher ratio: 19:1

Teacher salaries average: $53,390

Funding per pupil: $7,669 (elementary)

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia oversees one of the largest parochial school systems in the country, with more than 250 elementary and secondary schools in the city. About a third of elementary and secondary school students attend these and other private schools run by a variety of secular and religious groups such as the Society of Friends. Philadelphia is also home to the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.

Public Schools Information: The School District of Philadelphia, 21st and Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1099; telephone (215)299-7000

Colleges and Universities

More than 80 degree-granting institutions operate in the Philadelphia region, offering the highest concentration of colleges and universities in America. Nearly 30 of them are located in the city. Suburban to Philadelphia are prestigious Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr colleges. The Philadelphia region's six medical schools graduate nearly 20 percent of the nation's physicians. Degrees are offered in many disciplines, including nursing, dentistry, biological sciences, business, law, and design.

The University of Pennsylvania, which provides more than 100 academic departments, is rated among the top three schools in the United States.

Libraries and Research Centers

Philadelphia's public library, the Free Library of Philadelphia, consists of the Central Library, 54 branch libraries throughout the city, Homebound Services, and a Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Collections number more than 8 million bound volumes (more than a million of which are in the Central Library), and more than 6 million non-book items, including photographs, maps, microfilms, manuscripts, government documents, and other materials. The staff supports service to nearly a half-million registered borrowers; circulation totals almost 6,500,000 items annually. A $30 million expansion of the Central Library underway in 2005 will offer an additional 160,000 square feet of space, including a 600-seat auditorium. Notable special collections in the Central Library include the Automotive Reference Collection; the Theatre Collection of more than a million items; the Edwin A. Fleisher Music Collection, reportedly the world's largest library of orchestral scores with complete parts; the Rare Book Collection, which includes several original manuscripts of Edgar Allan Poe; and the Children's Literature collections, including the Beatrix Potter Collection. The Free Library of Philadelphia serves the area business community with comprehensive collections of resource materials. In particular, the Central Library and Northeast Regional Library provide specialized information services relating to business, industry, and finance.

The Philadelphia area is rich in special library collections on the topic of American history. Examples of these are the Library Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1731 and holding more than 450,000 volumes on pre-1860 Americana and Philadelphia subjects; and the library of the American Philosophical Society, holding 230,000 volumes and 5 million manuscripts on Americana and the history of American science. Philadelphia is also home to many institutional collections on the subjects of medicine, pharmacy, and science and technology, as well as corporate special libraries dealing with such topics as insurance, law, finance, computers, chemicals, and transportation.

From Ben Franklin's studies on electricity in the 1740s to the development 200 years later of ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the world's first electronic digital computer, Philadelphia has enjoyed a long tradition as a leader in research and technology. Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and other area educational institutions support a total of more than 100 formal research centers. Several dozen of these specialize in the medical sciences, although a variety of other studies is also pursued, ranging from insect biocontrol to federalism. Philadelphia is also known for its corporate research activities, such as those of the Philadelphia Electric Company.

Public Library Information: Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103; telephone (215)686-5322

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PHILADELPHIA. Established in 1682 by the Quaker aristocrat William Penn, Philadelphia became British North America's largestwith forty thousand occupantsand most diverse city by the middle of the eighteenth century.

Although Penn hoped to create a Quaker colony, his policy of open immigration meant that the Quaker majority of Philadelphia's early years gave way to a city of many languages, religions, and national identities. One of the largest immigrant groups was German Pietists, who established complex immigrant networks in Philadelphia. The colonies' second largest city (after Boston) in 1690, Philadelphia grew rapidly in the eighteenth century, surpassing all other colonial cities in population by 1743.

Philadelphia's involvement in colonial and transnational trade was perhaps more significant than that of any other North American city. It served as a center of both shipping and shipbuilding innovation. The city was most noted as a center of colonial culture, however. Replete with coffeehouses, philosophical and scientific societies such as the American Philosophical Society, museums, and stately homes, it embraced the intellectual and social trends of the eighteenth century with gusto. Its schools for children, especially the Philadelphia Academy, were considered the best in the colonies, while the College of Philadelphia (now known as the University of Pennsylvania) trained young scholars in Latin, Greek, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, physics and philosophy from its founding in 1755. Philadelphia's most famous eighteenth-century inhabitant, Benjamin Franklin, the originator of the idea for the college, is emblematic of this wide-ranging intellectualism, experimenting with electricity, optics, and thermal dynamics, founding the Library Company of Philadelphia and publishing Poor Richard's Almanack.

Of all its claims to fame, Philadelphia is most proud of its relationship to the Revolution. The birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution also served as the new nation's capital from 1790 until 1800.

See also American Independence, War of ; Boston ; British Colonies: North America ; New York .


Nash, Gary B. Quakers and Politics; Pennsylvania, 16811726. Princeton, 1968.

Fiona Deans Halloran

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Philadelphia: Communications

Philadelphia: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

Philadelphia's major daily newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, circulates as a morning edition. The Philadelphia Daily News is distributed every evening except Sunday. The Philadelphia Spotlite, published weekly, focuses on visitor information and entertainment. Well over a hundred scholarly journals are published in Philadelphia, including publications of the Philadelphia Historical Society; several law journals are published in the city as well.

Television and Radio

Philadelphia is served by seven television stations and at least three cable operations. Stations originating in New York and New Jersey, and in nearby communities, are also accessible to Philadelphia viewers, as is cable service. Thirteen AM and FM radio stations broadcast a wide variety of radio programming ranging from classical to hard rock, gospel, Caribbean, big band, and jazz.

Media Information: Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, 400 North Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19101; telephone (215)548-2000

Philadelphia Online

City of Philadelphia. Available

Free Library of Philadelphia. Available

Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Available

Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Available

Philadelphia City Planning Commission. Available

Philadelphia Convention and Visitor's Center. Available

Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. Available

Philadelphia Visitors Center. Available

School District of Philadelphia. Available

Selected Bibliography

Anderson, Elijah, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City (Norton, 1998)

Bissinger, Buzz G. and Robert Clark, A Prayer for the City (New York: Random House, 1998)

Johnson, Gerald W., Pattern for Liberty: The Story of Old Philadelphia (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1952)

Pennypacker, Samuel W., Pennsylvania Dutchman in Philadelphia (Philadelphia,, 1897)

Weigley, Russell F., Edwin Wolf, and Nicholas B. Wainwright, eds., Joseph E. Illick and Thomas Wendel, Philadelphia: A 300-Year History (Norton, 1982)

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Philadelphia: Population Profile

Philadelphia: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents (PMSA)

1980: 4,717,000 (PMSA)

1990: 5,892,937

2000: 6,188,463

Percent change, 19902000: 24.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 4th (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 1990: 5th (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 6th (CMSA)

City Residents

1980: 1,688,210

1990: 1,585,577

2000: 1,517,550

2003 estimate: 1,423,538

Percent change, 19902000: -4.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 4th

U.S. rank in 1990: 5th

U.S. rank in 2000: 6th (State rank: 1st)

Density: 11,233.6 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 683,267

Black or African American: 655,824

American Indian or Alaska Native: 4,073

Asian: 67,654

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 729

Hispanic (may be of any race): 128,928

Other: 72,429

Percent of residents born in state: 71.7% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 98,161

Population 5 to 9 years old: 112,111

Population 10 to 14 years old: 112,726

Population 15 to 19 years old: 110,701

Population 20 to 24 years old: 117,609

Population 25 to 34 years old: 224,864

Population 35 to 44 years old: 219,910

Population 45 to 54 years old: 182,530

Population 55 to 59 years old: 67,280

Population 60 to 64 years old: 57,936

Population 65 to 74 years old: 107,048

Population 75 to 84 years old: 79,335

Population 85 years and over: 27,339

Median age: 34.2 years

Births (2002)

Total number: 21,380

Deaths (2003)

Total number: 16,506 (of which, 231 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $16,509 (1999)

Median household income: $30,746

Total households: 600,740

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 109,237

$10,000 to $14,999: 49,035

$15,000 to $24,999: 89,059

$25,000 to $34,999: 79,532

$35,000 to $49,999: 91,683

$50,000 to $74,999: 92,326

$75,000 to $99,999: 42,495

$100,000 to $149,999: 25,092

$150,000 to $199,999: 5,639

$200,000 or more: 6,185

Percent of families below poverty level: 18.4% (47.4% of which were female householder families with children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 83,392

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Philadelphia: Introduction
Philadelphia: Geography and Climate
Philadelphia: History
Philadelphia: Population Profile
Philadelphia: Municipal Government
Philadelphia: Economy
Philadelphia: Education and Research
Philadelphia: Health Care
Philadelphia: Recreation
Philadelphia: Convention Facilities
Philadelphia: Transportation
Philadelphia: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1682 (incorporated, 1701)

Head Official: Mayor John F. Street (D) (since 2000)

City Population

1980: 1,688,210

1990: 1,585,577

2000: 1,517,550

2003 estimate: 1,423,538

Percent change, 19902000: -4.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 4th

U.S. rank in 1990: 5th

U.S. rank in 2000: 6th (State rank: 1st)

Metropolitan Area Population (CMSA)

1980: 4,717,000 (PMSA)

1990: 5,892,937

2000: 6,188,463

Percent change, 19902000: 5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 4th (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 1990: 5th (CMSA)

U.S. rank in 2000: 6th (CMSA)

Area: 135.09 square miles (2000)

Elevation: Ranges from 5 feet to 431 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 53.6° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 45.7 inches of rain; 20.5 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Pharmaceuticals; biotechnology; healthcare; communications; manufacturing; retail trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; services; government

Unemployment Rate: 4.5% (April 2005)

Per Capita Income: $16,509 (1999)

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 83,392

Major Colleges and Universities: University of Pennsylvania; Drexel University; Thomas Jefferson University; Temple University; Philadelphia University; Philadelphia College of the Arts; University of the Sciences in Philadelphia; La Salle University; Haverford College; Swarthmore College

Daily Newspaper: Philadelphia Inquirer; Philadelphia Daily News

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Philadelphia: Transportation

Philadelphia: Transportation

Approaching the City

Northeast Philadelphia Airport and Philadelphia International Airport operate within Philadelphia's city limits; the latter, located about seven miles from Philadelphia, offers service to more than 100 foreign and domestic cities and is connected with the city by the high-speed SEPTA Airport Rail Line. Fourteen other airports are located within commuting distance of Philadelphia.

The city is served by the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes and by Interstate-95 and I-76. These highways and their connections allow easy access to the city from many parts of the country.

Amtrak provides rail service to and from Philadelphia on a variety of daily routes. An ambitious rail network links 13 area rail lines into a 272-mile system by which passengers can reach any commuter station from any other within a 50-mile radius. Luxury overnight trains operate between Philadelphia and a number of major cities in the Northeast, South, and Midwest.

Traveling in the City

Philadelphia is laid out in a basic grid pattern. The commercial, historic, and cultural center is 24 blocks longstretching from the Delaware River on the east to the Schuylkill on the west and 12 blocks wide from Vine Street on the north to South Street.

The Southeastern Philadelphia Transportation Authority (SEPTA) operates a large fleet of buses throughout the city and suburbs. The Authority's DayPass allows travelers unlimited rides on the public transportation system for $5.50. The city is served by two subway lines: The Market Frankford (east-west) and Broad Street (north-south). Because the streets are narrow in the Center City, traffic is often congested, and travel on foot or by taxi is recommended. The PHLASH-Downtown Loop purple buses provide a safe and convenient way for visitors to travel day and night to the city's most popular tourist destinations.

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Philadelphia: Health Care

Philadelphia: Health Care

There are 373 physicians per 100,000 residents in the Greater Philadelphia reagion. Within a 100-mile radius of Philadelphia is the nation's largest concentration of health care resources. The area is home to several medical schools, dental schools, nursing schools, pharmacy colleges, and schools offering advanced degrees in biological sciences. World-class health care facilities, such as Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (ranked number one in U.S. children's hospitals), Alfred I. Du Pont Hospital for Children, Wills Eye Hospital (the first and largest hospital devoted to eye care), the Deborah Heart and Lung Center (site of the first open-heart surgery), and Fox Chase Cancer Center. The University of Pennsylvania houses a Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the city is served by more than a dozen regional trauma centers. The growth of the biotechnology companies in the last two decades has gained the area the reputation as the nation's foremost pharmaceutical and technology center.

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Philadelphia: Geography and Climate

Philadelphia: Geography and Climate

Philadelphia is located at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers on the eastern border of Pennsylvania. The Appalachian Mountains to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east moderate the climate, eliminating extremes of hot and cold weather. Occasionally during the summer months the city becomes engulfed in ocean air that brings high humidity. Precipitation is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, with maximum amounts during the summer months occasionally flooding the Schuylkill River. Snowfall is usually higher in the northern suburbs than in the city, where snow often turns to rain. High winds sometimes prevail during the winter months.

Area: 135.09 square miles (2000)

Elevation: Ranges from 5 feet to 431 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 32.0° F; August, 75.3° F; annual average, 53.6° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 45.7 inches of rain; 20.5 inches of snow

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Philadelphia: Convention Facilities

Philadelphia: Convention Facilities

The Pennsylvania Convention Center covers six city blocks in the heart of the city and offers 440,120 square feet of exhibit space, including a 32,000-square-foot ballroom and more than 50 meeting rooms. It encompasses historic Reading Terminal Market. The facility will soon undergo major new construction that will provide the Northeast with the largest continuous space in the region. When the project is completed, the Center will have 541,000 square feet available, two ballrooms totaling 93,000 square feet, 87 meeting rooms, and a fully equipped main kitchen. Another major convention facility is the Civic Center, with 382,000 square feet of exhibit space, auditorium seating for 12,500 people, and 30 meeting rooms. Ample hotel space is available to accommodate guests and meetings.

Convention Information: Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1700 Market Street, Suite 3000, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215)636-3330

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Philadelphia City and port at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, se Pennsylvania, USA. The site was first settled by Swedes in the early 17th century. The city was founded by William Penn in 1681. By 1774, it was a major commercial, cultural and industrial centre of the American colonies and played an important part in the fight for independence. The Continental Congresses were held in the city, and the Declaration of Independence was signed here in 1776. The Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia, and adopted the US Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia served as capital of the USA from 1790 to 1800. Industries: shipbuilding, textiles, chemicals, clothing, electrical equipment, vehicle parts, metal products, publishing and printing, oil refining, food processing. Pop. (2000) 1,517,550. See also Continental Congress

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Philadelphia: Municipal Government

Philadelphia: Municipal Government

Philadelphia city and county are the same entity. The city passed what is widely considered to be the nation's first modern big-city charter in 1951; under this charter the city council was removed from its administrative role and the staff and powers of the mayor were increased. Elections are held every four years, at which time the mayor and seven council members are elected by all the voters and 10 council members are elected by districts. The mayor may serve an unlimited number of terms but not more than two consecutively.

Head Official: Mayor John F. Street (D) (since 2000; current term expires January 2008)

Total Number of City Employees: 30,000 (2005)

City Information: City Hall, Room 215, Philadelphia, PA 19107; telephone (215)686-2250

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Philadelphia: Introduction

Philadelphia: Introduction

Rich in history and culture, Philadelphia has been in the forefront of the nation's intellectual, economic, and humanitarian development for more than three hundred years. Today its efforts are being directed to restoration with an emphasis on preserving the best of the past while allowing for the development of a vigorous new city. A city of neighborhoods, trees, parks, and open spaces, Philadelphia offers the advantages of living in a big city while maintaining a small-town atmosphere and preserving reminders of its dignified past. The Greater Philadelphia area has been on numerous best city lists as a good place to balance work and family life.

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