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 (baseball).
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 is now on part of the site.
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).
Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth most populous city in the United States. It is the fifth largest metropolitan area and fourth largest urban area by population in the United States, the nation's fourth largest consumer media market as ranked by the Nielsen Media Research, and the 49th most populous city in the world. It is the county seat of Philadelphia County. A popular nickname for Philadelphia is The City of Brotherly Love (from Greek: Φιλαδέλφεια, [pʰi.la.ˈdel.pʰeː.a], Modern Greek: [fi.la'ðɛl.fi.a], "brotherly love" from philos, "love", and adelphos "brother"). The city is recognized as a strong candidate global city.
In 2005, the population of the city proper was estimated to be over 1.4 million, while the metropolitan area, with a population of 5.8 million, was the fifth-largest in the United States. A commercial, educational, and cultural center, the city was once the second-largest in the British Empire (after London), and the social and geographical center of the original 13 American colonies. During the 18th century, it eclipsed New York City in political and social importance, with Benjamin Franklin taking a large role in Philadelphia's early rise to prominence. It was in this city that some of the ideas, and subsequent actions, gave birth to the American Revolution and American Independence, making Philadelphia a centerpiece of early American history. It was the most populous city of the young United States and served as the the nation's second capital in 1774.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Philadelphia area was the location of the Lenape (Delaware) Indian village Shackamaxon. Europeans arrived in the Delaware Valley in the early 1600s, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, British and Swedish.
The Swedes sought to expand their influence by creating an agricultural (tobacco) and fur-trading colony to bypass French and British merchants. The New Sweden Company was chartered and included Swedish, Dutch and German stockholders. The first Swedish expedition to North America embarked from the port of Gothenburg in late 1637. It was organized and overseen by Clas Fleming, a Swedish admiral from Finland. Part of this colony, called New Sweden or Nya Sverige eventually included land on the west side of the Delaware River from just below the Schuylkill River: in other words, today's Philadelphia, southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland.
In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their victory in a war against the English province of Maryland. A series of events led the Dutch — led by governor Peter Stuyvesant — to move an army to the Delaware River in the late summer of 1655. Though New Netherland now nominally controlled the colony, the Swedish and Finnish settlers continued to enjoy a degree of local autonomy, having their own militia, religion, court, and lands. This status lasted officially until the English conquest of the New Netherland colony, in October 1663-1664, and continued unofficially until the area was included in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania, in 1682.
In 1681, as part of a repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted William Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony. Part of Penn's plan for the colony was to create a city on the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government. Despite already having been given the land by Charles II, Penn bought the land from the local Lenape to be on good terms with the Native Americans and ensure peace for his colony. According to legend Penn made a treaty of friendship with Lenape chief Tammany under an elm tree at Shackamaxon, in what is now the city's Kensington section. As a Quaker, Penn had experienced religious persecution and wanted his colony to be a place where anyone could worship freely despite their religion. Penn named the city Philadelphia, which is Greek for brotherly love (philos, "love" or "friendship", and adelphos, "brother").
William Penn's plan was that Philadelphia would be like an English rural town instead of a city. The city's roads were designed with a grid plan with the idea that houses and businesses would be spread far apart and surrounded by gardens and orchards. The city's inhabitants didn't follow Penn's plans and crowded by the Delaware River and subdivided and resold their lots. Before Penn left Philadelphia for the last time, he issued the Charter of 1701 establishing Philadelphia as a city. The city soon grew and established itself as an important trading center. Conditions in the city were poor at first, but by the 1750s living conditions had improved. A significant contributor to Philadelphia at the time was Benjamin Franklin. Franklin helped improve city services and founded new ones, such as the American Colonies' first hospital. Due to Philadelphia's central location in the colonies, during the American Revolution the city was used as the location for the First Continental Congress before the war, the Second Continental Congress, which signed the United States Declaration of Independence, during the war, and the Constitutional Convention after the war. A number of battles during the war were fought in Philadelphia and its environs as well. Unsuccessful lobbying after the war to make Philadelphia the United States capital helped make the city the temporary U.S. capital in the 1790s.
The state government left Philadelphia in 1799 and the federal government left soon after in 1800. However Philadelphia was still the largest city in the United States and a financial and cultural center. New York City soon surpassed Philadelphia in population, but construction of roads, canals, and railroads helped turn Philadelphia into the United States' first major industrial city. Throughout the 19th century Philadelphia had a large variety of industries and businesses, the largest being textiles. Major corporations in the 19th and early 20th centuries included the Baldwin Locomotive Works, William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Industry, along with the U.S. Centennial, was celebrated in 1876 with the Centennial Exposition, the first official World's Fair in the United States. Immigrants, mostly German and Irish, settled in Philadelphia and the surrounding districts. The rise in population of the surrounding districts helped lead to the Act of Consolidation of 1854 which extended the city of Philadelphia to include all of Philadelphia County. In the later half of the century immigrants from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy and African Americans from the southern U.S. settled in the city.
By the 20th century Philadelphia had become known as "corrupt and contented." Philadelphians were content with the city's lack of change or excitement, and single-party politics, centered on the city's entrenched Republican political machine, allowed corruption to flourish. The machine and corruption permeated in all parts of city government and reformers had little success. The first major success in reform came in 1917 when outrage over the murder of a police officer during that year's election led to the shrinking of the Philadelphia City Council from two houses to just one. In the 1920s the public flouting of Prohibition laws, mob violence, and police involvement in illegal activities led to the appointment of Brigadier General Smedley Butler of the U.S. Marine Corps as director of public safety, but political pressure prevented any long term success in fighting crime and corruption.
After struggling through the Great Depression, World War II created jobs and brought the city out of the Depression. However, after the war there was a severe housing shortage with about half the city's housing being built in the 19th century, many of which lacked proper facilities. Adding to housing problem was white flight, as African Americans and Puerto Ricans moved into new neighborhoods resulting in racial tension. After a population peak of over two million residents in 1950 the city's population declined while the suburban neighboring counties grew. After a five year investigation into corruption into city government, the outcry with what the investigation found led the drafting of a new city charter in 1950. The city charter strengthened the position of the mayor and weakened the city council among other changes to help prevent the corruption of the past. The first Democratic mayor since the first half of the 19th century was elected in 1951. However, after two early reform mayors, a Democratic political organization had established itself replacing the old Republican one.
Protests, riots and racial tensions were common in the 1960s and 70s. Mostly drug related gang violence plagued the city. In the mid 1980s, crack houses invaded the city's slums. Confrontations between police and the radical group MOVE culminated when the police dropped a satchel bomb on their headquarters starting a fire that killed eleven MOVE members and destroyed sixty-two neighboring houses. Revitalization and gentrification of neighborhoods began in the 1960s and continues into the 21st century, with much of the development in the Center City and University City areas of the city. After many of the old manufacturers and businesses had left Philadelphia or shut down, the city started attracting service businesses and began to more aggressively market itself as a tourist destination. Glass and granite skyscrapers were built in Center City. Historic areas such as Independence National Historical Park located in Society Hill were resuscitated during the reformist mayoral era of the 1950s through the 1980s and are now among the most desirable living areas of Center City. This has slowed the city's forty-year population decline after losing nearly a quarter of its population.
Philadelphia is located at 40° 00′ north latitude and 75° 09′ west longitude. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which is land and , or 5.29%, is water. Bodies of water include the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, and Cobbs, Wissahickon, and Pennypack Creeks.
The lowest point is sea level, while the highest point is in Chestnut Hill, at approximately above sea level (near the intersection of Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike).
Philadelphia is located on the Fall Line separating the Atlantic Coastal Plain from the Piedmont. The rapids on the Schuylkill River at East Falls disappeared after the completion of the Fairmount Dam.
The city is the seat of its own county. The adjacent counties are Montgomery to the north; Bucks to the northeast; Burlington County, New Jersey to the east; Camden County, New Jersey to the southeast; Gloucester County, New Jersey to the south; and Delaware County to the west.
January lows average 25 °F (−4 °C) and highs average 39 °F (4 °C). The lowest officially recorded temperature was −11 °F (−24 °C) on February 9, 1934, but temperatures below 0 °F (−18 °C) occur only a few times a decade. July lows average 70 °F (21 °C) and highs average 86 °F (30 °C), although heat waves accompanied by high humidity are frequent with highs above 95 °F (35 °C) and the heat index running as high as 110 °F (43 °C). The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) on August 7 1918. Early fall and late winter are generally driest, with February being the driest month, averaging only 2.74 inches (69.8 mm) of precipitation.
Philadelphia has many neighborhoods, each with its own identity. The large Philadelphia sections, North, Northeast, Northwest, West, South and Southwest Philadelphia surround Center City, which falls within the original city limits prior to consolidation in 1854. Numerous smaller neighborhoods within the areas coincide with the boroughs, townships, and other communities that made up Philadelphia County before their absorption by the city. Other neighborhoods formed based on ethnicity, religion, culture, and commercial reasons.
Philadelphia's architectural history dates back to Colonial times and includes a wide range of styles. The earliest structures were constructed with logs, but brick structures were common by 1700. During the 18th century, the cityscape was dominated by Georgian architecture, including Independence Hall. In the first decades of the 19th century, Federal architecture and Greek Revival architecture were popular. In the second half of the 19th century, Victorian architecture was common. In 1871, construction began on the Second Empire-style Philadelphia City Hall. Despite the construction of steel and concrete skyscrapers in the 1910s, '20s and '30s, the City Hall remained the tallest building in the city until 1987 when One Liberty Place was constructed. Numerous glass and granite skyscrapers were built from the late 1980s onwards. In 2007, the Comcast Center surpassed One Liberty Place to become the city's tallest building.
For much of Philadelphia's history, the typical Philadelphia home has been the row house. The row house was introduced to the United States via Philadelphia in the early 1800s and, for a time, row houses built elsewhere in the United States were known as "Philadelphia rows". There is a variety of row houses throughout the city from Victorian-style homes in North Philadelphia to twin row houses in West Philadelphia. While newer homes are scattered throughout the city, much of Philadelphia's housing is from the early 20th century or older. The age of the city's homes has created numerous problems which has led to blight and vacant lots in many parts of the city, while other neighborhoods such as Society Hill, which has the largest concentration of 18th-century architecture in the United States, have been rehabilitated and gentrified.
Philadelphia contains many national historical sites that relate to the founding of the United States. Independence National Historical Park is the center of these historical landmarks. Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Liberty Bell are the city's most famous attractions. Other historic sites include homes for Edgar Allan Poe, Betsy Ross, and Thaddeus Kosciuszko, early government buildings like the First and Second Banks of the United States, and the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church National Historic Site.
Philadelphia's major science museums include the Franklin Institute, which contains the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. History museums include the National Constitution Center, the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia History, the National Museum of American Jewish History, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in the state of Pennsylvania and The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania and Eastern State Penitentiary. Philadelphia is home to the United States' first zoo and hospital.
The city contains many art museums such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Rodin Museum, the largest collection of work by Auguste Rodin outside of France. The city’s major art museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is one of the largest art museums in the United States and features the steps made popular by the film Rocky.
The city is home to many art galleries, many of which participate in the First Friday event. The first Friday of every month galleries in Old City are open late. Annual events include film festivals and parades, the most famous being the New Year's Day Mummers Parade.
Areas such as South Street and Old City have a vibrant night life. The Avenue of the Arts in Center City contains many restaurants and theaters, such as the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which is home to the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Academy of Music, the nation's oldest continually operating venue, home to the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has more public art than any other American city. In 1872, the Fairmount Park Art Association was created, the first private association in the United States dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. In 1959, lobbying by the Artists Equity Association helped create the Percent for Art ordinance, the first for a U.S. city. The program, which has funded more than 200 pieces of public art, is administered by the Philadelphia Office of Arts and Culture, the city's art agency.
In particular, Philadelphia has more murals than any other U.S. city, thanks in part to the 1984 creation of the Department of Recreation's Mural Arts Program, which seeks to beautify neighborhoods and provide an outlet for graffiti artists. The program has funded more than 2,700 murals by professional, staff and volunteer artists.
Philadelphia has had a prominent role in music. In the 1970s, Philadelphia soul influenced the music of that and later eras. On July 13 1985, Philadelphia hosted the American end of the Live Aid concert at John F. Kennedy Stadium. The city reprised this role for the Live 8 concert, bringing some 700,000 people to the Ben Franklin Parkway on July 2 2005.
Philadelphia has a long history of professional sports teams, and is one of thirteen U.S. cities to have all four major sports: the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League of Major League Baseball, and the Philadelphia 76ers in the National Basketball Association. The last major professional sport team to win a championship was the 76ers, which won the NBA Championship in 1983. Due to the length of this streak without winning a sports championship, in 2004 ESPN ranked Philadelphia as number two in its list of The Fifteen Most Tortured Sports Cities. The failure of Philadelphia's major professional sports teams to win championships since that date is sometimes attributed, in jest, to the so-called "Curse of Billy Penn". The Oakland Athletics and Golden State Warriors were originally from Philadelphia.
Philadelphia also is home to professional, semi-professional and elite amateur teams in other sports, including cricket. Philadelphia also hosts other major sporting events, including the Penn Relays, Stotesbury Cup, Philadelphia Marathon, and Philadelphia International Championship bicycle race, and the Dad Vail Regatta.
Philadelphia is also known for the Philadelphia Big 5, a group of five Division I college basketball programs: Big 5 are Saint Joseph's University, University of Pennsylvania, La Salle University, Temple University, and Villanova University. The sixth NCAA Division I school in Philadelphia is Drexel University. At least one of the teams is competitive nearly every year and at least one team has made the NCAA tournament for the past four decades.
In February 2008, Philadelphia beat out competition from several other cities, namely St. Louis, to be awarded the 16th Major League Soccer franchise. They will enter the league in 2010 calling Chester Stadium their home (a soccer specific stadium) in Chester, PA.
|Philadelphia Eagles||NFL||American Football||Lincoln Financial Field||1933||1948, 1949, 1960|
|Philadelphia Flyers||NHL||Ice Hockey||Wachovia Center||1967||1973-74, 1974-75|
|Philadelphia Phillies||MLB||Baseball||Citizens Bank Park||1883||1980|
|Philadelphia 76ers||NBA||Basketball||Wachovia Center||1963||1966-67, 1982-83|
|MLS Philadelphia 2010||MLS||Soccer|| Chester Stadium|
(in Chester, Pennsylvania)
|Philadelphia Wings||NLL||Lacrosse (Indoor)||Wachovia Center||1987||1989, 1990, 1994, 1995, 1998, 2001|
|Philadelphia Phantoms||AHL||Ice Hockey||Wachovia Spectrum||1996||1997-98, 2004-05|
|Philadelphia Soul||AFL||Arena Football||Wachovia Center & Spectrum||2004||2008|
|Philadelphia Barrage||MLL||Lacrosse (Outdoor)||N/A||2001||2004, 2006, 2007|
|Philadelphia KiXX||NISL||Soccer (Indoor)||Wachovia Spectrum||1995||2001-02, 2006-07|
|Philadelphia WPS team||WPS||Soccer|| Chester Stadium|
(in Chester, Pennsylvania)
|Philadelphia Fight||AMNRL||Rugby League||Farrell Stadium (West Chester University)||1998||none|
|Philadelphia Freedoms||WTT||Tennis||King of Prussia Mall||1974||2001, 2006|
Philadelphia's economy is relatively diversified, with meaningful portions of its total output derived from manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, health care and biotechnology, tourism and financial services. According to a study prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Philadelphia and its surrounding region had the fourth highest GDP among American cities, with a total "city GDP" of $312 billion in 2005. Only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago had higher total economic output levels.
The city is home to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and several Fortune 500 companies, including cable television and internet provider Comcast, insurance companies CIGNA and Lincoln Financial Group, energy company Sunoco, food services company Aramark, Crown Holdings Incorporated, chemical makers Rohm and Haas Company and FMC Corporation, pharmaceutical companies Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing helicopters division, and automotive parts retailer Pep Boys. Early in the 20th Century, it was also home to the pioneering brass era automobile company Biddle.
The federal government has several facilities in Philadelphia as well. The city served as the capital city of the United States, before the construction of Washington, D.C. Today, the East Coast operations of the United States Mint are based near the historic district, and the Federal Reserve Bank's Philadelphia division is based there as well. Philadelphia is also home to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Partly because of the historical presence of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the large ridership at 30th Street Station, Amtrak also maintains a significant presence in the city. These jobs include customer service representatives and ticket processing and other behind-the-scenes personnel, in addition to the normal functions of the railroad.
The city is also a national center of law because of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Earle Mack School of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Villanova University School of Law, and Widener University School of Law. Additionally, the headquarters of the American Law Institute is located in the city.
Philadelphia is also an important center for medicine, a distinction that it has held since the colonial period. The city is home to the first hospital in the British North American colonies, Pennsylvania Hospital, and the first medical school in what is now the United States, at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). Penn, the city's largest private employer, also runs a large teaching hospital and extensive medical system. There are also major hospitals affiliated with Temple University School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, and Thomas Jefferson University. Philadelphia also has three distinguished children's hospitals: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the nation's first pediatric hospital (located adjacent to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania), St. Christopher's Hospital, and the Shriners' Hospital. In the city's northern section are Albert Einstein Hospital, and in the northeast section, Fox Chase Cancer Center. Together, healthcare is the largest sector of employment in the city. Several medical professional associations are headquartered in Philadelphia.
In part because of Philadelphia's long-running importance as a center for medical research, the region is a major center for the pharmaceutical industry. GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Wyeth, Merck, GE Healthcare, Johnson and Johnson and Siemens Medical Solutions are just some of the large pharmaceutical companies with operations in the region. The city is also home to the nation's first school of pharmacy, the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, now called the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Center City is home to The Gallery at Market East, The Shops at Liberty Place and The Shops at the Bellevue, and a variety of standalone retail stores. Rittenhouse Row, a section of Walnut Street in Center City, has higher-end stores and boutiques. Old City and Society Hill, as well, feature upscale boutiques and retailers from local and international merchandisers. Philadelphia also has several neighborhood shopping districts, including Manayunk and Chestnut Hill. Also noteworthy is South Street with blocks of inexpensive boutiques.
The Italian Market in South Philadelphia offers groceries, meats, cheeses and housewares from Italy and other countries. Geno's and Pat's, two famed cheesesteak outlets, are located here. The Reading Terminal Market in Center City includes dozens of restaurants, farm stalls, and shops, many run by Amish farmers from Lancaster County. There are also neighborhood farmers' markets throughout the city.
There are also several large shopping malls in the region, including Franklin Mills in Northeast Philadelphia and King of Prussia Mall in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; seven miles outside of Philadelphia. Franklin Mills offers shoppers tax-free clothing and shoes due to its location within the city's boundaries and saw an estimated 18 million visitors in 2006. The King of Prussia Mall is the largest shopping mall on the East Coast of the United States, and the largest shopping mall in the country in terms of leasable retail space.
Philadelphia is the birthplace of the secondary ticket marketplace. Wanamaker Ticket Office, located in Center City, is among the nation's oldest ticket agencies.
The first experimental radio license was issued in Philadelphia in August, 1912 to St. Joseph's College. The first commercial radio stations appeared in 1922. WIP, then owned by Gimbel's department store, became the first on March 17 of that year. Also launched that year were WFIL, WOO, WCAU and WDAS. The highest-rated stations in Philadelphia include soft rock WBEB, KYW Newsradio, and urban adult contemporary WDAS-FM.
During the 1930s, the experimental station W3XE, which was owned by Philco Corp, became the first television station in Philadelphia. The station, which would later become KYW-TV (CBS), became NBC's first affiliate in 1939. By the 1970s WCAU-TV, WPVI-TV, WHYY-TV, WPHL-TV, and WTXF-TV were founded. In 1952 WFIL (now WPVI), premiered the television show Bandstand, which later became the nationally broadcast show American Bandstand hosted by Dick Clark. Today, as in many large metropolitan areas, each of the commercial networks has an affiliate, and call letters have been replaced by corporate IDs: CBS3, 6ABC, NBC10, FOX29, Telefutura28, Telemundo62, Univision65, plus My PHL 17 and CW Philly 57. On the public media side, the Philadelphia region is served by WYBE-TV (Philadelphia), WHYY-TV (Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia), WLVT-TV (Lehigh Valley), and New Jersey Network. In September, 2007, Philadelphia approved a public access cable channel. On the radio side, Philadelphia is served by three large public radio stations, plus several smaller ones; the larger ones are WHYY-FM (NPR), WRTI (jazz, classical), and WXPN-FM (adult alternative music).
Philadelphia has a competitive rock radio market, especially between WMMR and WYSP, which both specialize in playing modern and classic rock. The two stations enjoy a very intense rivalry. Since 2005, WMMR has played more music due to a shift in WYSP's programming from a rock station (which also carried controversial shock jock Howard Stern) to a Free FM station. WYSP has since returned to the classic rock format it shed in 1995. Until early 2008, WYSP also carried live radio broadcasts of all Philadelphia Eagles home and road games. WMMR has the top rated morning show in the Philadelphia area, The Preston and Steve Show, which has been at the top of the ratings since Howard Stern left for Sirius Radio. WYSP currently does not have a competing morning talk show.
Philadelphia's four urban stations (WUSL ("Power 99"), WPHI ("100.3 The Beat"), WDAS and WRNB) are popular choices on the FM dial. WNUW is the city's Adult Contemporary station. The station had been home of "Smooth Jazz" WJJZ after the format was dropped from the 106.1 frequency (now WISX) but the format was dropped once again due to poor ratings.
Of the 590,071 households, 27.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.1% were married couples living together, 22.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.3% were non-families. 33.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.22.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $30,746, and the median income for a family was $37,036. Males had a median income of $34,199 versus $28,477 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,509. About 18.4% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.3% of those under age 18 and 16.9% of those age 65 or over.
Philadelphia has the second largest Irish, Italian, and Jamaican populations and the fourth largest African American population in the nation. Philadelphia also has the fourth largest population of Polish residents. In recent years, the Hispanic and Asian American populations have significantly increased. Hispanics have settled throughout the city, especially around El Centro de Oro, and the city now has the third largest Puerto Rican population in the continental United States. The Asian population was once concentrated in the city's thriving Chinatown, but now Korean Americans have come to Olney, and Vietnamese have forged bazaars next to the Italian Market in South Philadelphia. Concentrations of Cambodian American neighborhoods can be found in North and South Philadelphia. Indians and Arabs have come to Northeast Philadelphia along with Russian and Ukrainian immigrants. This large influx of Asians has given Philadelphia one of the largest populations of Vietnamese, Cambodians, Chinese, and Koreans in United States. The Philadelphia region also has the fourth largest population of Indian Americans. The West Indian population is concentrated in Cedar Park. Germans, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, English, Pakistanis, Iranians, and also immigrants from the former Yugoslavia along with other ethnic groups can be found throughout the city.
From a governmental perspective, Philadelphia County is a legal nullity, as all county functions were assumed by the city in 1952, which has been coterminous with the county since 1854.
The city uses the "strong-mayor" version of the mayor-council form of government, which is headed by one mayor, in whom executive authority is vested. Elected "at-large," the mayor is limited to two consecutive four-year terms under the city's home rule charter, but can run for the position again after an intervening term. The current city mayor, having taken office in January 2008, is Michael Nutter, replacing John F. Street who served two terms from 1999 to the end of 2007. Nutter, as all Philadelphia mayors have been since 1952, is a member of the Democratic Party, which tends to dominate local politics so thoroughly that the Democratic primary for mayor is often more noticeable than the general mayoral election. The legislative branch, the Philadelphia City Council, consists of ten council members representing individual districts and seven members elected at large. The current council president is Anna C. Verna.
The Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, also known as the Court of Common Pleas for the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, is the trial court of general jurisdiction for Philadelphia. It is funded and operated largely by city resources and employees. The Philadelphia Municipal Court handles matters of limited jurisdiction as well as landlord-tenant disputes, appeals from traffic court, preliminary hearings for felony-level offenses, and the like. Traffic Court is a court of special jurisdiction that hears violations of traffic laws.
Pennsylvania's three appellate courts also have sittings in Philadelphia. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the court of last resort in the state, regularly hears arguments in Philadelphia City Hall. Also, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania sit in Philadelphia several times a year. Judges for these courts are elected at large. Each court has a prothonotary's office in Philadelphia as well.
The Philadelphia Historical Commission was created in 1955 to preserve the cultural, social, political, economic and architectural history of the city. The commission maintains the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, adding historic buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts as it sees fit.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority is the largest landlord in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Established in 1937, it is the nation’s fourth-largest housing authority, housing approximately 84,000 people and employing 1,250. In 2006, its budget was $313 million.
|2004||19.3% 130,099||80.4% 542,205|
|2000||18.0% 100,959||80.0% 449,182|
|1996||16.0% 85,345||77.5% 412,988|
|1992||20.9% 133,328||68.2% 434,904|
|1988||32.5% 219,053||66.6% 449,566|
|1984||34.6% 267,178||64.9% 501,369|
|1980||34.0% 244,108||58.7% 421,253|
|1976||32.0% 239,000||66.3% 494,579|
|1972||43.4% 340,096||55.1% 431,736|
|1968||30.0% 254,153||61.8% 525,768|
|1964||26.2% 239,733||73.4% 670,645|
|1960||31.8% 291,000||68.0% 622,544|
As of November 2007, there are 992,696 registered voters in Philadelphia.
From the American Civil War until the mid-20th century, Philadelphia was a bastion of the Republican Party, which arose from the staunch pro-Northern views of Philadelphia residents during and after the war. After the Great Depression, Democratic registrations increased, but the city was not carried by Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt in his landslide victory of 1932 (in which Pennsylvania was one of the few states won by Republican Herbert Hoover). While other Northern industrial cities were electing Democratic mayors in the 1930s and 1940s, Philadelphia did not follow suit until 1951. That is, Philadelphia never had a "New Deal" coalition.
The city is now one of the most Democratic in the country, despite the frequent election of Republicans to statewide offices since the 1930s; in 2004, Democrat John Kerry drew 80% of the city's vote.
Philadelphia once comprised six congressional districts. However, as a result of the city's declining population, it now has only four: the 1st district, represented by Bob Brady; the 2nd, represented by Chaka Fattah; the 8th, represented by Patrick Murphy; and the 13th, represented by Allyson Schwartz. All four are Democrats; no Republican has represented a significant portion of Philadelphia since 1983. However, Pennsylvania's Republican Senator, Arlen Specter, is from Philadelphia.
In 2004, there were 5,513.5 crimes per 100,000 people in Philadelphia. In 2005, Philadelphia was ranked by Morgan Quitno as the sixth-most dangerous among 32 American cities with populations over 500,000. Among its neighboring Mid-Atlantic cities in the same population group, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. were ranked second- and third-most dangerous cities in the United States, respectively, and Camden, New Jersey, a suburb across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, was ranked as the most dangerous city in the United States.
In 2006, Camden was the fifth-most dangerous city in the country, lower than its 2004 ranking, but still high for a city its size, while Philadelphia was ranked 29th.
On September 12, 2007, police commissioner Sylvester Johnson called on 10,000 African American men to patrol the streets to lessen crime. Johnson, who is a black, set up "Call to Action: 10,000 Men, It's a New Day" in response to the city's disproportionate homicide rate of young African Americans. Dennis Muhammad, Nation of Islam official, and Mayor John F. Street supported the project. The program was to begin on October 21.
Philadelphia is one of the largest college towns in the United States and has the second-largest student concentration on the East Coast with over 120,000 college and university students enrolled within the city and nearly 300,000 in the metropolitan area. There are over 80 colleges, universities, trade, and specialty schools in the Philadelphia region. The city contains three major research universities: the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and Temple University. Other institutions of higher learning within the city's borders include Saint Joseph's University, La Salle University, Peirce College, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, The University of the Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Curtis Institute of Music, Thomas Jefferson University, Moore College of Art and Design, The Art Institute of Philadelphia, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia University, Chestnut Hill College, Holy Family University, the Community College of Philadelphia and Messiah College Philadelphia Campus.
Philadelphia is served by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which operates buses, trains, rapid transit, trolleys, and trackless trolleys throughout Philadelphia, the four Pennsylvania suburban counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery, in addition to service to Mercer County, New Jersey and New Castle County, Delaware. The city's subway system, first opened in 1907, is the third oldest in America.
The PATCO speedline provides rapid transit service to Camden, Collingswood, Westmont, Haddonfield, Woodcrest (Cherry Hill), Ashland (Voorhees), and Lindenwold, New Jersey, from stations on Locust Street between 16th and 15th, 13th and 12th, and 10th and 9th Streets, and on Market Street at 8th Street.
Interstate 95 runs through the city along the Delaware River as a main north-south artery. The city is also served by the Schuylkill Expressway, a portion of Interstate 76 that runs along the Schuylkill River. It meets the Pennsylvania Turnpike at King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, providing access to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and points west. Interstate 676, the Vine Street Expressway, was completed in 1991 after years of planning. A link between I-95 and I-76, it runs below street level through Center City, connecting to the Ben Franklin Bridge at its eastern end.
Roosevelt Boulevard and the Roosevelt Expressway (U.S. 1) connect Northeast Philadelphia with Center City. Woodhaven Road (PA Route 63), built in 1966, serves the neighborhoods of Northeast Philadelphia, running between Interstate 95 and the Roosevelt Boulevard (U.S. 1). The Fort Washington Expressway (Pennsylvania Route 309) extends north from the city's northern border, serving Montgomery County and Bucks County
Interstate 476, commonly nicknamed the "Blue Route" through Delaware County, bypasses the city to the west, serving the city's western suburbs, as well as providing a link to Allentown and points north. Similarly, Interstate 276, the Pennsylvania Turnpike's Delaware River Extension, acts as a bypass and commuter route to the north of the city as well as a link to the New Jersey Turnpike to New York.
However, other planned freeways have been canceled, such as an Interstate 695 running southwest from downtown, two freeways connecting Interstate 95 to Interstate 76 that would have replaced Girard Avenue and South Street and a freeway upgrade of Roosevelt Boulevard.
The Delaware River Port Authority operates four bridges in the Philadelphia area across the Delaware River to New Jersey: the Walt Whitman Bridge (I-76), the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (I-676 and US 30), the Betsy Ross Bridge (Route 90), and the Commodore Barry Bridge (US 322). The Tacony-Palmyra Bridge connects PA Route 73 in the Tacony section of Northeast Philadelphia with New Jersey's Route 73 in Palmyra, Camden County, and is maintained by the Burlington County Bridge Commission.
Philadelphia is also a major hub for Greyhound Lines, which operates 24-hour service to points east of the Mississippi River. Most of Greyhound's services in Philadelphia operate to/from the Philadelphia Greyhound Terminal, located at 1001 Filbert Street in Center City Philadelphia. In 2006, the Philadelphia Greyhound Terminal was the second busiest Greyhound terminal in the United States, after the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York. Besides Greyhound, six other bus operators provide service to the Center City Greyhound terminal. These are Bieber Tourways, Capitol Trailways, Martz Trailways, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Susquehanna Trailways, and the bus division for New Jersey Transit.
Philadelphia is one of the few North American cities to maintain streetcar lines. In addition to "subway-surface" trolleys—which are so called because during the years when the city was served by over 2000 trolleys and more than 65 lines, these "surface" cars also ran in the streetcar subway—the city recently reintroduced trolley service to the Girard Avenue Line, Route 15, considered by some a "heritage" line. The use of rebuilt 1947 PCC streetcars was primarily for budgetary reasons, rather than as a historic tribute.
Today, Philadelphia is a hub of the semi-nationalized Amtrak system, with 30th Street Station being a primary stop on the Washington-Boston Northeast Corridor and the Keystone Corridor to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 30th Street also serves as a major station for services via the Pennsylvania Railroad's former Pennsylvania Main Line to Chicago. 30th Street is Amtrak's third-busiest station in numbers of passengers as of fiscal year 2003. It is also a terminus of New Jersey Transit's Atlantic City Line.
Philadelphia is now also served by Wireless Philadelphia, a citywide initiative to provide Wi-Fi service. The Proof of Concept area was approved on May 23, 2007, and service is now available in many areas of the city.
Philadelphia has ten sister cities, as designated by the International Visitors Council of Philadelphia (IVC):