HOME    CONTACT us   
  HISTORY & the City  

Founded:
In 1682. King Charles II of England granted the land to William Penn, an English Quaker, in order to pay off a debt he owed to Penn’s Father.

Nicknames:
City of Brotherly Love; The City That Loves You Back.

Population:
1.5 Million people within city limits; 5 million including the entire metropolitan area. Fifth largest city in the country; second largest on the East Coast.

Cradle of Liberty:
In 1752, Philadelphia’s famous Liberty Bell was delivered from London’s Whitechapel Foundry. The Bell’s signature crack is reported to have occurred on July 8, 1835, when the bell tolled to mark the death of Chief Justice John Marshall. The last time the bell rang clearly was February 1846, when it rang in tribute to George Washington.

Geography:
The gridiron of streets in central Philadelphia, known as “Center City”, follows the original plan of the city’s founder. William Penn Square, located midway between the two rivers and occupied by City Hall marks the city center. Fairmount Park is the nation’s largest landscaped municipal park. Washington Square West, Society Hill and Independence Hall together constitute the colonial sections of Philadelphia.

The statue of William Penn on top of Philadelphia’s City Hall is the largest sculpture to sit atop any building in the world. It stands 37 feet tall and weighs 53,523 pounds. After the building was completed in 1901. A gentleman’s agreement prevented construction of buildings taller than City Hall. The agreement lasted until the 1980’s.

The Alexander Inn was originally built as an upscale apartment building and opened in 1901, after eight years of construction. It was built without benefit of electric or power tools, as was City Hall. Electric street lighting was just beginning to be installed as the buildings were nearing completion, and electric was soon to follow. The Alexander Inn was re-built and re-opened as a hotel in 1932 and was totally gutted and re-built in 1997 as the Alexander Inn. Upon it’s re-opening hundreds of neighbors came to the building each day to see the hotel and applaud its presence in this Center City neighborhood.