|City of Philadelphia|
From top left, the Philadelphia skyline, a statue of Benjamin Franklin, the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia City Hall, and Independence Hall
|Nickname(s): "Philly", "City of Brotherly Love", "The City that Loves you Back", "Cradle of Liberty", "The Quaker City", "The Birthplace of America", "The City of Neighborhoods"|
|Motto: "Philadelphia maneto" ("Let brotherly love endure")|
|Historic Colony||Province of Pennsylvania|
|Founded||October 27, 1682|
|Incorporated||October 25, 1701|
|• Body||Philadelphia City Council|
|• Mayor||Michael Nutter (D)|
|• Consolidated city-county||141.6 sq mi (367 km2)|
|• Land||134.1 sq mi (347.3 km2)|
|• Water||7.5 sq mi (19.4 km2)|
|• Urban||1,799.5 sq mi (4,660.5 km2)|
|• Metro||4,629 sq mi (11,988.6 km2)|
|Elevation||39 ft (12 m)|
|• Consolidated city-county||1,553,165|
|• Rank||US: 5th|
|• Density||11,379.6/sq mi (4,393.8/km2)|
|• Urban||5,441,567 (US: 5th)|
|• Metro||6,034,678 (US: 6th)|
|• CSA||7,146,706 (US: 8th)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|Area code(s)||215, 267|
Philadelphia () is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the fifth-most-populous city in the United States, and the core of the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the country. Located in the Northeastern United States at the confluence of the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, Philadelphia is the economic and cultural center of the Delaware Valley. The population of the city — Pennsylvania's only consolidated city-county — was measured at 1,526,006 in 2010 and estimated at 1,553,165 in 2013, according to the United States Census Bureau. The five Pennsylvania counties nearest Philadelphia have a total population of 4,008,994, while its Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes parts of four states, is home to more than 6 million people. Popular nicknames for Philadelphia are Philly and The City of Brotherly Love, the latter of which comes from the literal meaning of the city's name in Greek (Greek: Φιλαδέλφεια (, Modern Greek: ) "brotherly love", compounded from philos (φίλος) "loving", and adelphos (ἀδελφός) "brother").
In 1682, William Penn founded the city to serve as capital of Pennsylvania Colony. By the 1750s, Philadelphia had surpassed Boston to become the largest city and busiest port in British America, and second in the British Empire, behind London. During the American Revolution, Philadelphia played an instrumental role as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the Revolutionary War, and the city served as the temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C., was under construction. During the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and railroad hub that grew from an influx of European immigrants. It became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration and surpassed two million occupants by 1950.
Philadelphia is known for its arts and culture. The cheesesteak and soft pretzel are emblematic of Philadelphia cuisine, which is shaped by the city's ethnic mix. The city has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city, and Philadelphia's Fairmount Park is the largest landscaped urban park in the world. Gentrification of Philadelphia's neighborhoods continues into the 21st century and the city has reversed its decades-long trend of population loss.
- History 1
- Topography 2.1
- City planning 2.2.1
- Architecture 2.2.2
- Climate 2.3
- Languages 3.1
- Economy 4
- Accent 5.1
- Arts 5.2
- Cuisine 5.3
- Sports 6
- Parks 7
Law and government 8
- Courts 8.1
- Politics 8.2
- Crime 8.3
- Education 9
- Media 10
- Airports 11.1.1
- Roads 11.1.2
- Bus service 11.1.3
- Rail 11.1.4
- Walkability 11.1.5
- Telecommunications 11.2.1
- United States Postal Service 11.2.2
- Transportation 11.1
- Notable people 12
- Sister cities 13
- See also 14
- Notes 15
- References 16
- External links 17
Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey. The Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina (present day Wilmington, Delaware) and quickly spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick section of Philadelphia, to reassert their dominion over the area. The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, named New Korsholm after a town that is now in Finland. In 1655, a Dutch military campaign led by New Netherland Director-General Peter Stuyvesant took control of the Swedish colony, ending its claim to independence, although the Swedish and Finnish settlers continued to have their own militia, religion, and court, and to enjoy substantial autonomy under the Dutch. The English conquered the New Netherland colony in 1664, but the situation did not really change until 1682, when the area was included in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania.
In 1681, in partial repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted William Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony. Despite the royal charter, 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 Fishtown section. Penn named the city Philadelphia, which is Greek for brotherly love (from philos, "love" or "friendship", and adelphos, "brother"). As a Quaker, Penn had experienced religious persecution and wanted his colony to be a place where anyone could worship freely. This tolerance, far more than afforded by most other colonies, led to better relations with the local Native tribes and fostered Philadelphia's rapid growth into America's most important city. Penn planned a city on the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government. Hoping that Philadelphia would become more like an English rural town instead of a city, Penn laid out roads on a grid plan to keep houses and businesses spread far apart, with areas for gardens and orchards. The city's inhabitants did not follow Penn's plans, as they crowded by the Delaware River, the port, and subdivided and resold their lots. Before Penn left Philadelphia for the last time, he issued the Charter of 1701 establishing it as a city. It became an important trading center, poor at first, but with tolerable living conditions by the 1750s. Benjamin Franklin, a leading citizen, helped improve city services and founded new ones, such as fire protection, a library, and one of the American colonies' first hospitals.
A number of important philosophical societies were formed, which were centers of the city's intellectual life: the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture (1785), the Pennsylvania Society for the Encouragement of Manufactures and the Useful Arts (1787), the Academy of Natural Sciences (1812), and the Franklin Institute (1824). These worked to develop and finance new industries and attract skilled and knowledgeable immigrants from Europe.
Philadelphia's importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America's revolutionaries. The city hosted 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 (1787) after the war. Several battles were fought in and near Philadelphia as well.
Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the United States, 1790–1800, while the Federal City was under construction in the District of Columbia. In 1793, the largest yellow fever epidemics in U.S. history killed at least 4,000 and up to 5,000 people in Philadelphia, roughly 10% of the city's population.
The state government left Philadelphia in 1799, and the federal government was moved to Washington, DC in 1800 with completion of the White House and Capitol. The city remained the young nation's largest with a population of nearly 50,000 at the turn of the 19th century; it was a financial and cultural center. Before 1800, its free black community founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the country, and the first black Episcopal Church. The free black community also established many schools for its children, with the help of Quakers. New York City soon surpassed Philadelphia in population, but with the construction of roads, canals, and railroads, Philadelphia became the first major industrial city in the United States.
Throughout the 19th century, Philadelphia had a 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 Irish and German, 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 limits of Philadelphia from the 2 square miles of present-day Center City to the roughly 130 square miles of Philadelphia County. These immigrants were largely responsible for the first general strike in North America in 1835, in which workers in the city won the ten-hour workday. The city was a destination for thousands of Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Famine in the 1840s; housing for them was developed south of South Street, and was later occupied by succeeding immigrants. They established a network of Catholic churches and schools, and dominated the Catholic clergy for decades. Anti-Irish, anti-Catholic Nativist riots had erupted in Philadelphia in 1844. In the latter half of the century, immigrants from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy; and African Americans from the southern U.S. settled in the city. Between 1880 and 1930, the African-American population of Philadelphia increased from 31,699 to 219,559. Twentieth-century black newcomers were part of the Great Migration out of the rural South to northern and midwestern industrial cities.
In the American Civil War, Philadelphia was represented by the Washington Grays (Philadelphia).
By the 20th century, Philadelphia had become known as "corrupt and contented", with a complacent population and an entrenched Republican political machine. The first major reform came in 1917 when outrage over the election-year murder of a police officer led to the shrinking of the Philadelphia City Council from two houses to just one. In July 1919, Philadelphia was one of more than 36 industrial cities nationally to suffer a race riot of ethnic whites against blacks during Red Summer, in post-World War I unrest, as recent immigrants competed with blacks for jobs. 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.
In 1940, non-Hispanic whites constituted 86.8% of the city's population. The population peaked at more than two million residents in 1950, then began to decline with the restructuring of industry, which led to the loss of many middle-class union jobs. In addition, suburbanization had been drawing off many of the wealthier residents to outlying railroad commuting towns and newer housing. Revitalization and gentrification of neighborhoods began in the late 1970s 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 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 Old City and Society Hill were renovated during the reformist mayoral era of the 1950s through the 1980s. They are now among the most desirable living areas of Center City. This has slowed the city's 40-year population decline after it lost nearly one-quarter of its population. The city has attracted more recent immigrants: Hispanics from Central and South America and Asian refugees from Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Educated Asians from India have tended to settle in suburbs with other middle- and upper-class people.
Philadelphia is at 39° 57′ north latitude and 75° 10′ west longitude, and the 40th parallel north passes through the northern parts of the city. The city encompasses 142.6 square miles (369.3 km2), of which 135.1 square miles (349.9 km2) is land and 7.6 square miles (19.7 km2), or 5.29%, is water. Bodies of water include the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, and Cobbs, Wissahickon, and Pennypack creeks.
The lowest point is 10 feet (3 m) above sea level, while the highest point is in Chestnut Hill, about 445 feet (136 m) above sea level (near the intersection of Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike).
Philadelphia sits on the Fall Line that separates the Atlantic Coastal Plain from the Piedmont. The rapids on the Schuylkill River at East Falls were inundated by 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.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority is the largest landlord in Pennsylvania. Established in 1937, it is the nation's fourth-largest housing authority, housing about 84,000 people and employing 1,250. In 2013, its budget was $371 million. The Philadelphia Parking Authority works to ensure adequate parking for city residents, businesses and visitors.
Philadelphia's neighborhoods are divided into large sections—North, Northeast, Northwest, West, South and Southwest Philadelphia—all of which surround Center City, which corresponds closely with the city's limits before consolidation in 1854. Each of these large areas contains numerous neighborhoods, some of whose boundaries derive from the boroughs, townships, and other communities that made up Philadelphia County before their absorption into the city.
Philadelphia's architectural history dates back to Independence Hall and Christ Church.
In the first decades of the 19th century, Federal architecture and Greek Revival architecture were dominated by Philadelphia architects such as Benjamin Latrobe, William Strickland, John Haviland, John Notman, Thomas U. Walter, and Samuel Sloan. Frank Furness is considered Philadelphia's greatest architect of the second half of the 19th century, but his contemporaries included John McArthur, Jr., Addison Hutton, Wilson Eyre, the Wilson Brothers, and Horace Trumbauer. In 1871, construction began on the Second Empire-style Philadelphia City Hall. The Philadelphia Historical Commission was created in 1955 to preserve the cultural 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.
In 1932, Philadelphia became home to the first William Lescaze. It is the United States' first modern skyscraper and considered the most important one built in the first part of the 20th century.
The 548 ft (167 m) 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 and make Philadelphia one of only four American cities with two or more buildings over 900 feet (270 m); the other cities being New York, Houston, and Chicago.
For much of Philadelphia's history, the typical home has been the row house. The row house was introduced to the United States via Philadelphia in the early 19th century and, for a time, row houses built elsewhere in the United States were known as "Philadelphia rows". A variety of row houses are found 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 the housing is from the early 20th century or older. The great age of the homes has created numerous problems, including 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.
Under the Köppen climate classification, Philadelphia falls in the northern periphery of the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen Cfa). Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is cold. Snowfall is highly variable, with some winters bringing only light snow and others bringing several major snowstorms, with the normal seasonal snowfall standing at 22.4 in (57 cm); snow in November or April is rare, and a sustained snow cover is rare. Precipitation is generally spread throughout the year, with eight to twelve wet days per month, at an average annual rate of 41.5 inches (1,050 mm), but historically ranging from 29.31 in (744 mm) in 1922 to 64.33 in (1,634 mm) in 2011. The most rain recorded in one day occurred on July 28, 2013, when 8.02 in (204 mm) fell at Philadelphia International Airport.
The January daily average is 33.0 °F (0.6 °C), though, in a normal winter, the temperature frequently rises to 50 °F (10 °C) during thaws and dips to 10 °F (−12 °C) for 2 or 3 nights. July averages 78.1 °F (25.6 °C), although heat waves accompanied by high humidity and heat indices are frequent; highs reach or exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on 27 days of the year. The average window for freezing temperatures is November 6 thru April 2, allowing a growing season of 217 days. Early fall and late winter are generally dry; February's average of 2.64 inches (67 mm) makes it the area's driest month.
Seasonal snowfall accumulation has ranged from trace amounts in 1972–73 to 78.7 inches (200 cm) in the winter of 2009–10. The city's heaviest single-storm snowfall, at 30.7 in (78 cm), occurred in January 1996.
The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) on August 7, 1918, but 100 °F (38 °C)+ temperatures are uncommon. The lowest officially recorded temperature was −11 °F (−24 °C) on February 9, 1934, but with the last such occurrence being January 19, 1994, temperatures at or below the 0 °F (−18 °C) mark are rare. The record low maximum is 5 °F (−15 °C) on February 10, 1899 and December 30, 1880, while the record high minimum is 83 °F (28 °C) on July 23, 2011 and July 24, 2010.
|Climate data for Philadelphia (Philadelphia Airport), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1872–present|
|Record high °F (°C)||
|Average high °F (°C)||
|Average low °F (°C)||
|Record low °F (°C)||
|Precipitation inches (mm)||
|Snowfall inches (cm)||
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.6||9.4||10.5||11.3||11.1||9.8||9.9||8.4||8.7||8.6||9.3||10.6||118.2|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||4.4||3.6||1.8||0.4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.2||1.8||12.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||155.7||154.7||202.8||217.0||245.1||271.2||275.6||260.1||219.3||204.5||154.7||137.7||2,498.4|
|Percent possible sunshine||52||52||55||55||55||61||61||61||59||59||52||47||56|
|Source: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990) |
|White (includes White Hispanics)||41.0%||45.0%||53.5%||58.2%||65.6%|
|Black or African American||43.4%||43.2%||37.8%||39.9%||33.6%|
|Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander||0.0%||0.0%||0.0%|
|Some other race||5.9%||4.8%||3.7%||2.7%||0.4%|
|Two or more races||2.8%||2.2%||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||12.3%||8.5%||5.6%||3.8%||2.4%|
According to the 2013 United States Census estimates, there were 1,553,165 people residing in the City of Philadelphia. The racial makeup of the city in 2013 was 36.3% Non-Hispanic White, 44.2% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American and Alaska Native, 6.9% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 2.4% Two or More Races, and 13.3% were Hispanic or Latino.
According to the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,526,006 people residing in the City of Philadelphia. This represents a 0.6% increase since the 2000 Census and the first time since the 1950 Census that the city's population showed an increase. The average population density was 11,457 people per square mile (4,405.4/km²). The 2010 Census Redistricting Data indicated that the racial makeup of the city was 661,839 (43.4%) African American, 626,221 (41.0%) White, 6,996 (0.5%) Native American, 96,405 (6.3%) Asian (2.0% Chinese, 1.2% Indian, 0.9% Vietnamese, 0.6% Cambodian, 0.4% Korean, 0.3% Filipino, 0.2% Pakistani, 0.1% Indonesian), 744 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 90,731 (5.9%) from other races, and 43,070 (2.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 187,611 persons (12.3%); 8.0% of Philadelphia is Puerto Rican, 1.0% Dominican, 1.0% Mexican, 0.3% Cuban, and 0.3% Colombian. The racial breakdown of Philadelphia's Hispanic/Latino population was 63,636 (33.9%) White, 17,552 (9.4%) African American, 3,498 (1.9%) Native American, 884 (0.47%) Asian, 287 (0.15%) Pacific Islander, 86,626 (46.2%) from other races, and 15,128 (8.1%) from two or more races.
The Census reported that 1,468,623 people (96.2% of the population) lived in households, 38,007 (2.5%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 19,376 (1.3%) were institutionalized.
There were 670,171 housing units, of which 599,736 (89.5%) were occupied and 70,435 (10.5%) were vacant. Of the 599,736 households, 149,193 (24.9%) had children under the age of 18 living with them, 169,587 (28.3%) were married couples living together, 134,648 (22.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 36,119 (6.0%) had a male householder with no wife present, and 259,382 (43.2%) were non-families. 204,714 (34.1%) of all households were made up of individuals and 62,506 (10.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.20.
The population was spread out with 343,837 (22.5%) under the age of 18, 203,697 (13.3%) from 18 to 25, 434,385 (28.5%) from 25 to 44, 358,778 (23.5%) from 45 to 64, and 185,309 (12.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.5 years. For every 100 females there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.7 males.
Italians, Irish, Polish, Germans, English, and Greeks are the largest ethnic European groups in the city. Philadelphia has the second-largest Italian and Irish populations in the United States, after New York City. South Philadelphia remains one of the largest Italian neighborhoods in the country and is home to the Italian Market. The Pennsport neighborhood and Gray's Ferry section of South Philadelphia, home to many Mummer clubs, are well known as Irish neighborhoods. The Kensington section, Port Richmond, and Fishtown have historically been heavily Irish and Polish. Port Richmond is well known in particular as the center of the Polish immigrant and Polish-American community in Philadelphia, and it remains a common destination for Polish immigrants. Northeast Philadelphia, although known for its Irish and Irish-American population, is also home to a large Jewish and Russian population. Mount Airy in Northwest Philadelphia also contains a large Jewish community, while nearby Chestnut Hill is historically known as an Anglo-Saxon Protestant stronghold.
There has also been an increase of yuppie, bohemian, and hipster types particularly around Center City, the neighborhood of Northern Liberties, and in the neighborhoods around the city's universities, such as near Temple in North Philadelphia and particularly near Drexel and University of Pennsylvania in West Philadelphia.
The African American population in Philadelphia is the third-largest in the country, after New York City and Chicago. Historically, West Philadelphia and North Philadelphia were largely black neighborhoods, but many are leaving these areas in favor of the Northeast and Southwest sections of Philadelphia. There is a higher proportion of Muslims in the African American population than most cities in America. West Philadelphia also has significant Caribbean and African populations.
The Puerto Rican population in Philadelphia is the second-largest after New York City, and the second-fastest growing after Orlando. There are large Puerto Rican and Dominican populations in North Philadelphia and the Northeast, as well as a significant Mexican population in South Philadelphia.
Philadelphia has significant Asian populations mainly hailing from countries like India, China, Vietnam, and South Korea. Chinatown and the Northeast have the largest Asian presences, with a large Korean community in Olney, Philadelphia. South Philadelphia is also home to large Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities. It has the fifth largest Muslim population among American cities.
As of 2010, 79.12% (1,112,441) of Philadelphia residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 9.72% (136,688) spoke Spanish, 1.64% (23,075) Chinese, 0.89% (12,499) Vietnamese, 0.77% (10,885) Russian, 0.66% (9,240) French, 0.61% (8,639) other Asian languages, 0.58% (8,217) African languages, 0.56% (7,933) Cambodian (Mon-Khmer), and Italian was spoken as a main language by 0.55% (7,773) of the population over the age of five. In total, 20.88% (293,544) of Philadelphia's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a total gross metropolitan product of $347 billion in 2010, the seventh-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
With a gross domestic product of $388 billion, Philadelphia ranks ninth among world cities and fourth in the nation. The city is also the nation's fourth-largest consumer media market, as ranked by the Nielsen Media Research.
The city is home to the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and several Fortune 500 companies, including cable television and internet provider Comcast, insurance companies Colonial Penn, CIGNA and Lincoln Financial Group, energy company Sunoco, food services company Aramark and Crown Holdings Incorporated, chemical makers Rohm and Haas Company and FMC Corporation, pharmaceutical companies Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, and automotive parts retailer Pep Boys.
Philadelphia's economic sectors include information technology, manufacturing, oil refining, food processing, health care and biotechnology, tourism and financial services.
Philadelphia has shifted to an information technology and service-based economy. Financial activities account for the largest sector of the metro economy, and it is one of the largest health education and research centers in the United States. Philadelphia's history attracts many tourists, with the Liberty Bell receiving over 2 million visitors in 2010.
Philadelphia is home to 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, Fort Mifflin, and the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church.
Philadelphia's major science museums include the Franklin Institute, which contains the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial; the Academy of Natural Sciences; the Mütter Museum; 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, as well as Fairmount Park, one of America's oldest and largest urban parks.
The city is home to important archival repositories, including the Library Company of Philadelphia, established in 1731, and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, founded in 1814. The Presbyterian Historical Society, the country's oldest continuous denominational historical society, is also located there.
The Philadelphia dialect, which is spread throughout the Delaware Valley and South Jersey, is part of Mid-Atlantic American English, and as such it is identical in many ways to the Baltimore dialect. Unlike the Baltimore dialect, however, the Philadelphia accent also shares many similarities with the New York accent. Thanks to over a century of linguistics data collected by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia dialect is one of the best-studied forms of American English.
The city contains many art museums, such as the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Rodin Museum, which holds 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. Its long flight of steps to the main entrance became famous after the film Rocky (1976).
The city is home to the Philadelphia Sketch Club, one of the country's oldest artists' clubs, and The Plastic Club, started by women excluded from the Sketch Club. It has a profusion of 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, generally considered one of the top five orchestras in the United States, and the Academy of Music, the nation's oldest continually operating opera house, home to the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet. The Wilma Theatre and Philadelphia Theatre Company have new buildings constructed in the last decade on the avenue. They produce a variety of new works. Several blocks to the east are the Walnut Street Theatre, America’s oldest theatre and the largest subscription theater in the world; as well as the Lantern Theatre at St. Stephens Church, one of a number of smaller venues.
Philadelphia has more public art than any other American city. In 1872, the Association for Public Art (formerly 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.
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 2,800 murals by professional, staff and volunteer artists and educated more than 20,000 youth in underserved neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
Philadelphia artists have had a prominent national role in popular 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 is home to the world-renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale, which has performed its music all over the world. Dr. Robert G. Hamilton, founder of the choir, is a notable native Philadelphian. The Philly Pops is another famous Philadelphia music group. The city has played a major role in the development and support of American rock music and rap music. Hip-hop/Rap artists such as The Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, The Goats, Freeway, Schoolly D, Eve, and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes hail from the city.
The city is known for its hoagies, scrapple, soft pretzels, water ice, Tastykake, and is home to the cheesesteak, developed by German and Italian immigrants. Its high-end restaurants include Morimoto, run by chef Masaharu Morimoto, who rose to prominence on the Iron Chef television show. Italian specialties have been supplemented by many new Vietnamese and other Asian restaurants, both budget and high-end.
Philadelphia's professional sports teams date at least to the 1860 founding of baseball's Athletics. The city is one of 12 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 Philadelphia metro area is also home of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer. The Union play their home games at PPL Park, a soccer-specific stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia began play in MLS in 2010, after beating several other cities in competition for the rights to an MLS expansion franchise.
The city's professional teams went without a championship from 1983, when the 76ers won the NBA Championship, until 2008, when the Phillies won the World Series. In 2004, ESPN ranked Philadelphia second on its list of The Fifteen Most Tortured Sports Cities. The failure was sometimes attributed in jest to the "Curse of Billy Penn."
Philadelphia is also the home city of the Philadelphia Spinners, a professional ultimate team that is part of the American Ultimate Disc League. They are one of the original eight teams of the league that began in April 2012 and play their home games at the University of Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia is home to professional, semi-professional and elite amateur teams in cricket, rugby league (Philadelphia Fight), rugby union and other sports. Major sporting events in the city include the Penn Relays, Stotesbury Cup, Philadelphia Marathon, Broad Street Run, Philadelphia International Championship bicycle race, and the Dad Vail Regatta. The Collegiate Rugby Championship is played every June at PPL Park; the CRC is broadcast live on NBC and regularly draws attendances of 18,000.
Philadelphia is home to the Philadelphia Big 5, a group of five Division I college basketball programs. The 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.
|Philadelphia Eagles||NFL||American Football||Lincoln Financial Field||69,144||1933||1948, 1949, 1960|
|Philadelphia Phillies||MLB||Baseball||Citizens Bank Park||29,924||1883||1980, 2008|
|Philadelphia Flyers||NHL||Ice Hockey||Wells Fargo Center||19,786||1967||1973–74, 1974–75|
|Philadelphia Union||MLS||Soccer||PPL Park||18,053||2010||none|
|Philadelphia 76ers||NBA||Basketball||Wells Fargo Center||13,869||1963||1966–67, 1982–83|
|Philadelphia Soul||AFL||Arena Football||Wells Fargo Center||9,000||2004||2008|
The total parkland amounts to about 10,334 acres (41.82 km2). Philadelphia's largest park, Fairmount Park, encompasses 9,200 acres (37 km2) of this parkland and includes 63 neighborhood and regional parks. The largest tract of Fairmount Park is on the west side of the city along the Schuylkill River and Wissahickon Creek and includes the Philadelphia Zoo.
The total expenditures of the park in 2005 were $164 million. Fairmount Park is the world's largest landscaped urban park.
Law and government
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.
Philadelphia's 1952 Home Rule Charter was written by the City Charter Commission, which was created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in an Act of April 21, 1949, and a city ordinance of June 15, 1949. The existing City Council received a proposed draft on February 14, 1951, and the electors approved it in an election held April 17, 1951. The first elections under the new Home Rule Charter were held in November 1951, and the newly elected officials took office in January 1952.
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 Mayor is Michael Nutter, who replaced John Street, who served two terms from 1999 to January 2008. 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 Mayoral primary is often more widely covered than the general election. The legislative branch, the Philadelphia City Council, consists of ten council members representing individual districts and seven members elected at large. Democrats currently hold 14 seats, with Republicans representing two allotted at-large seats for the minority party, as well as the Northeast-based Tenth District. The current council president is Darrell Clarke.
The Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas (First Judicial District) is the trial court of general jurisdiction for Philadelphia, hearing felony-level criminal cases and civil suits above the minimum jurisdictional limit of $7000 (excepting small claims cases valued between $7000 and $12000 and landlord-tenant issues heard in the Municipal Court) under its original jurisdiction; it also has appellate jurisdiction over rulings from the Municipal and Traffic Courts and over decisions of certain Pennsylvania state agencies (e.g. the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board). It has 90 legally trained judges elected by the voters. It is funded and operated largely by city resources and employees. The current District Attorney is Seth Williams, a Democrat. The last Republican to hold the office is Ron Castille, who left in 1991 and is currently the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
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 misdemeanor criminal trials. It has 25 legally trained judges elected by the voters.
Philadelphia Traffic Court is a court of special jurisdiction that hears violations of traffic laws. It has seven judges elected by the voters. As with magisterial district judges, the judges need not be lawyers, but must complete the certifying course and pass the qualifying examination administered by the Minor Judiciary Education Board.
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.
Additionally, Philadelphia is home to the federal United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, both of which are housed in the James A. Byrne United States Courthouse.
|2012||13.97% 96,467||85.25% 588,806|
|2008||16.33% 117,221||83.01% 595,980|
|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 December 31, 2009, there were 1,057,038 registered voters in Philadelphia. Registered voters constitute 68.3% of the total population.
- Democratic: 829,873 (78.5%)
- Republican: 134,216 (12.7%)
- Libertarian 2,631 (0.2%)
- Other Parties and No party: 90,318 (8.5%)
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 (Philadelphia was chosen as the host city for the first Republican National Convention in 1856). After the Great Depression, Democratic registrations increased, but the city was not carried by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt in his landslide victory of 1932 (in which Pennsylvania was one of the few states won by Republican Herbert Hoover). Four years later, however, voter turnout surged and the city finally flipped to the Democrats. Roosevelt carried Philadelphia with over 60% of the vote in 1936. The city has remained loyally Democratic in every presidential election since.
The city is now one of the most Democratic in the country; in 2008, Democrat Barack Obama drew 83% of the city's vote. Obama's win was even greater in 2012, capturing 85% of the 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 Mike Fitzpatrick; and the 13th, represented by Allyson Schwartz. All but Fitzpatrick are Democrats. Although they are usually swamped by Democrats in city, state and national elections, Republicans still have some support in the area; a Republican represented a significant portion of Philadelphia in the House as late as 1983, and Sam Katz ran competitive Mayoral races as the Republican nominee in both 1999 and 2003. Pennsylvania's longest-serving Senator, Arlen Specter, was from Philadelphia; he served as a Republican from 1981 and as a Democrat from 2009, losing that party's primary in 2010 and leaving office in January 2011. He was also the city's District Attorney from 1966 to 1974.
Like many American cities, Philadelphia saw a gradual yet pronounced rise in crime in the years following World War II. There were 525 murders in 1990, a rate of 31.5 per 100,000. There were an average of about 600 murders a year for most of the 1990s. The murder count dropped in 2002 to 288, then rose four years later to 406 in 2006 and 392 in 2007. In 2006, Philadelphia's homicide rate of 27.7 per 100,000 people was the highest of the country's 10 most populous cities. A few years later, Philadelphia began to see a rapid drop in homicides and violent crime. In 2013, there were 246 murders, which is a decrease of over 25% from the previous year, and a decrease of over 44% since 2007.
In 2004, there were 7,513.5 crimes per 200,000 people in Philadelphia. Among its neighboring Mid-Atlantic cities in the same population group, 
From May 2006 to February 2009, eight Philadelphia police officers were murdered in the line of duty.
In 2012, Camden was the third-most dangerous city in the country, while Philadelphia was ranked 60th.
Education in Philadelphia is provided by many private and public institutions. The School District of Philadelphia runs the city's public schools. The Philadelphia School District is the eighth largest school district in the United States with 163,064 students in 347 public and charter schools.
Philadelphia 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; and the city is home to five schools of medicine: Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, and the University of Pennsylvania.Other institutions of higher learning within the city's borders include:
The Philadelphia suburbs are home to a number of other colleges and universities, including Villanova University, Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Swarthmore College, Ursinus College, Cabrini College, and Eastern University.
Philadelphia's two major daily newspapers are The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, both of which are owned by Philadelphia Media Holdings L.L.C. The Philadelphia Inquirer, founded in 1829, is the third-oldest surviving daily newspaper in the United States. The Bulletin, another newspaper that operates in Philadelphia, traces its history back to The Philadelphia Bulletin that went defunct in 1982. The Bulletin is locally owned by The Bulletin, Inc.
The first experimental radio license was issued in Philadelphia in August 1912 to St. Joseph's College. The first commercial broadcasting radio stations appeared in 1922: first WIP, then owned by Gimbel's department store, on March 17, followed the same year by WFIL, WOO, WCAU and WDAS. The highest-rated stations in Philadelphia include soft rock WBEB, KYW Newsradio, and urban adult contemporary WDAS-FM. Philadelphia is served by three major non-commercial public radio stations, WHYY-FM (NPR), WRTI (jazz, classical), and WXPN-FM (adult alternative music), as well as several smaller stations.
In the 1930s, the experimental station W3XE, owned by Philco, became the first television station in Philadelphia; it became NBC's first affiliate in 1939, and later became KYW-TV (CBS). WCAU-TV, WPVI-TV, WHYY-TV, WPHL-TV, and WTXF-TV had all been founded by the 1970s. In 1952, WFIL (now WPVI) premiered the television show Bandstand, which later became the nationally broadcast 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. The region is served also by public broadcasting stations WYBE-TV (Philadelphia), WHYY-TV (Wilmington, Delaware and Philadelphia), WLVT-TV (Lehigh Valley), and NJTV (New Jersey). In September 2007, Philadelphia approved a Public-access television cable TV channel.
Until September 2014, Philadelphia was the only media market in the United States with owned-and-operated stations of all five English-language major broadcast networks (NBC – WCAU, CBS – KYW-TV, ABC – WPVI-TV, Fox – WTXF-TV and The CW – WPSG); three of the major Spanish-language networks (Univision, UniMas and Telemundo) also have O&Os serving the market (respectively, WUVP-DT, WFPA-CA and WWSI).
Rock stations WMMR and WYSP had historically been intense rivals. However, in 2011, WYSP switched to sports talk as WIP-FM, which broadcasts all Philadelphia Eagles games. WMMR's The Preston and Steve Show has been the area's top-rated morning show since Howard Stern left broadcast radio for satellite-based Sirius Radio.
Four urban stations (WUSL ("Power 99"), WPHI ("Hot 107.9"), WDAS and WRNB ("Old School 100.3") are popular choices on the FM dial. WBEB is the city's Adult Contemporary station, while WRDW ("Wired 96.5") is the major Rhythmic Top 40 station.
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, opened in 1907, is the third-oldest in America.
In 1981, large sections of the SEPTA Regional Rail service to the far suburbs of Philadelphia were discontinued due to lack of funding. Several projects have been proposed to extend rail service back to these areas, but lack of funding has again been the chief obstacle to implementation. These projects include the proposed Schuylkill Valley Metro to Wyomissing, PA, and extension of the Media/Elwyn line back to Wawa, PA.
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.
Two airports serve Philadelphia: the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), straddling the southern boundary of the city, and the Northeast Philadelphia Airport (PNE), a general aviation reliever airport in Northeast Philadelphia. Philadelphia International Airport provides scheduled domestic and international air service, while Northeast Philadelphia Airport serves general and corporate aviation. In 2010, Philadelphia International Airport was the 12th largest airport in the world measured by traffic movements (i.e. takeoffs and landings), and is also a primary hub for US Airways.
William Penn initially planned a Philadelphia that had numbered streets traversing north and south and "tree" named streets traversing east and west, with the two main streets Broad Street and High Street converging at Centre Square. The plans have since expanded to include major highways that span other major sections of Philadelphia.
Interstate 95 runs through the city along the Delaware River as a main north-south artery known as the Delaware Expressway. 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 (Route 63), built in 1966, and Cottman Avenue (Route 73) serve the neighborhoods of Northeast Philadelphia, running between Interstate 95 and the Roosevelt Boulevard (U.S. 1). The Fort Washington Expressway (Route 309) extends north from the city's northern border, serving Montgomery County and Bucks County. U.S. 30, extending east-west from West Philadelphia to Lancaster, is known as Lancaster Avenue throughout most of the city and through the adjacent Main Line suburbs.
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: Bieber Tourways, Capitol Trailways, Martz Trailways, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Susquehanna Trailways, and the bus division for New Jersey Transit. Other services include Megabus and Bolt Bus.
Since the early days of rail transport in the United States, Philadelphia has served as hub for several major rail companies, particularly the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad. The Pennsylvania Railroad first operated Broad Street Station, then 30th Street Station and Suburban Station, and the Reading Railroad operated out of Reading Terminal, now part of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The two companies also operated competing commuter rail systems in the area, known collectively as the Regional Rail system. The two systems today, for the most part still intact but now connected, operate as a single system under the control of the SEPTA, the regional transit authority. Additionally, the PATCO Speedline subway system and New Jersey Transit's Atlantic City Line operate successor services to southern New Jersey.
Philadelphia, once home to more than 4,000 trolleys on 65 lines, is one of the few North American cities to maintain streetcar lines. Today, SEPTA operates five "subway-surface" trolleys that run on street-level tracks in West Philadelphia and subway tunnels in Center City. SEPTA also recently reintroduced trolley service to the Girard Avenue Line, Route 15.
Today, Philadelphia is a regional hub of the federally owned Amtrak system, with 30th Street Station being a primary stop on the Washington-Boston Northeast Corridor and the Keystone Corridor to Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. 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 2013.
A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Philadelphia the fifth most walkable major city in the United States.
Southeastern Pennsylvania was assigned the 215 area code in 1947 when the North American Numbering Plan of the "Bell System" went into effect. The geographic area covered by the code was split nearly in half in 1994 when area code 610 was created, with the city and its northern suburbs retaining 215. Overlay area code 267 was added to the 215 service area in 1997, and 484 was added to the 610 area in 1999. A plan in 2001 to introduce a third overlay code to both service areas (area code 445 to 215, area code 835 to 610) was delayed and later rescinded.
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; although discontinued by Earthlink.
United States Postal Service
The main Philadelphia Post Office is at 3000 Chestnut Street in the University City district. The facility here became Philadelphia's main post office on September 29, 2008, after the closure of the former main post office at 30th and Market Streets.
Sister citiessister cities, as designated by the International Visitors Council of Philadelphia (IVC):
|Tianjin||People's Republic of China||1980|
Philadelphia has dedicated landmarks to its sister cities. Dedicated in June 1976, the Sister Cities Plaza, a site of 0.5 acres (2,000 m2) located at 18th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, honors Philadelphia's relationships with Tel Aviv and Florence which were its first sister cities. Another landmark, the Toruń Triangle, honoring the sister city relationship with Toruń, Poland, was constructed in 1976, west of the United Way building at 18th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. In addition, the Triangle contains the Copernicus monument. Renovations were made to Sister Cities Park in mid-2011 and on May 10, 2012, SCP was reopened and currently features an interactive fountain honoring Philadelphia's ten sister and friendship cities, a café and visitor's center, children's play area, outdoor garden, and boat pond, as well as pavilion built to environmentally friendly standards.
The Chinatown Gate, erected in 1984 and crafted by artisans of Tianjin, stands astride the intersection of 10th and Arch Streets as an elaborate and colorful symbol of the sister city relationship. The IVC of Philadelphia has participated in the U.S. Department of State's "Partners for Peace" project with Mosul, Iraq, as well as accepting visiting delegations from dozens of other countries.
- 2007 Philadelphia Mayoral Election
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- List of municipalities in Pennsylvania
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- See North American blizzard of 2009#Snowfall (December 19–20, 2009), First North American blizzard of 2010#Snowfall (February 5–6, 2010), and Second North American blizzard of 2010#Impact (February 9–10, 2010). The February storms contributed to a record (for any month) monthly total accumulation of 51.5 in (131 cm). If no snow fell outside of February that season, 2009–10 would still rank as 5th-snowiest. See the Franklin Institute for a visual representation of seasonal snowfall.
- The last occurrence of such a temperature was July 18, 2012.
- Official temperature and precipitation records for Philadelphia were kept at the Weather Bureau Office in downtown from January 1872 to 19 June 1940, and at Philadelphia Int'l from 20 June 1940 to the present. Snowfall and snow depth records date to 1 January 1884 and 1 October 1948, respectively. In 2006, snowfall measurements were moved to National Park, New Jersey directly across the Delaware River from the airport.
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