Center City, Philadelphia

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Center City, Philadelphia
Neighborhood of Philadelphia
Center City makes up a large portion of the Philadelphia skyline
Center City makes up a large portion of the Philadelphia skyline
Center City within Philadelphia
Center City within Philadelphia
Country  United States of America
State  Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia
City Philadelphia
Area
 • Total 2.07 sq mi (5.4 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 57,239
 • Density 27,614.1/sq mi (10,661.9/km2)
ZIP Code 19102, 19103, 19106, 19107
Map of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania highlighting the City of Philadelphia prior to the Act of Consolidation, 1854

Center City includes the central business district and central neighborhoods of Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is the former City of Philadelphia prior to the Act of Consolidation, 1854 which extended the city borders to be coterminous with Philadelphia County. As of 2010, its residential population of over 57,000 made it the third most populous downtown in the United States, after New York City's and Chicago's.

Boundaries[edit]

Center City is bounded by South Street to the south, the Delaware River to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west, and Spring Garden Street to the north.[1][2] This means that Center City occupies the boundaries of the city before it was made coterminous with Philadelphia County in 1854. The Center City District, which has special powers of taxation,[3] uses a complicated, irregularly shaped boundary that includes much of this area but also extends beyond it.[4] The Philadelphia Police Department patrols three districts located within Center City. The three patrol districts serving Center City are the 6th, 9th, and 17th districts.[5]

Neighborhood features[edit]

Among Center City's neighborhoods and districts are Penn's Landing, Old City, Society Hill, South Street, Washington Square West, Market East, Chinatown, Logan Circle, the Museum District (located along the Ben Franklin Parkway), Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, the Avenue of the Arts (South Broad Street), and Jewelers' Row.

The Philadelphia City Hall in Center City

Center City is home to most of Philadelphia's tallest buildings, including Philadelphia's City Hall, the second tallest masonry building in the world and until 1987 the tallest in Philadelphia, as well as the tallest building in the world for seven years. In March 1987, One Liberty Place broke the gentlemen's agreement not to exceed the height of the statue of William Penn atop City Hall. Since the completion of One Liberty Place, no Philadelphia major-league sports team had won a world championship for the next two decades, a phenomenon known as the "Curse of Billy Penn." In an effort to reverse the curse, a 3-foot statue of Penn was affixed to the top of the Comcast Center upon its completion as the city's new tallest building in 2007. On October 29, 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies won the 2008 World Series, effectively ending the "curse".

Logan Circle

Seven other skyscrapers now top the statue, including One Liberty Place's little sister, Two Liberty Place. In 2005, construction began on the Comcast Center, which was completed in 2007 and is now the tallest building in Pennsylvania, 30 feet taller than One Liberty Place. Three proposed buildings — Mandeville Place, 1441 Chestnut, and Bridgeman's View Tower — would also be taller than City Hall.

Other Center City skyscrapers include the Mellon Bank Center and the Verizon Tower, which houses a traffic camera used by the Philadelphia branch of the Westwood One MetroNetworks traffic service.

Across the street from City Hall is the Masonic Temple, the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, a legacy of the Founding Fathers and signers of the Declaration of Independence, many of whom were Freemasons; such luminaries include George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

While Philadelphia's population declined, Center City's rose 10% between 1990 and 2000.

In 2007, the city designated the area bound by 11th Street, Broad Street, Chestnut Street and Pine Street as the Gayborhood.[6]

Economy[edit]

Aramark headquarters

Sunoco has its headquarters in the BNY Mellon Center.[7] Cigna has its corporate headquarters in Two Liberty Place.[8] Aramark is headquartered in Center City.[9] Comcast is headquartered in the Comcast Center.[10] The law firm Cozen O'Connor has its headquarters in Center City.[11] Kogan Page has its United States offices in Center City.[12]

Reading Terminal Market in Center City

Lincoln National Corporation moved its headquarters from Indiana to Philadelphia in 1999.[13] In Philadelphia Lincoln was headquartered in the West Tower of Centre Square in Center City.[14] In 2007 the company moved 400 employees, including its top executives, to Radnor Township from Philadelphia.[13]

History[edit]

See also History of Philadelphia for history prior to 1854

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Philadelphia Fire Department operates 5 Fire Stations in the Center City area :

  • Ladder 5, Medic 35, Battalion 1 - 711 S. Broad St.
  • Snorkel 2, Medic 44B, Battalion 4, Field Comm. Unit 1 - 101 N. 4th St.
  • Engine 11, Medic 21 - 601 South St.
  • Pipeline 20, Ladder 23, Medic 1 - 133 N. 10th St.
  • Squirt 43, Ladder 9, Medic 7 - 2108 Market St.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons Northeast Region Office is in Center City.[15]

Diplomats' offices/Consulates[edit]

The Consulate-General of Italy in Philadelphia is located in the 1026 Public Ledger Building at 150 South Independence Mall West.[16] The Consulate-General of Panama in Philadelphia is located in Suite 1 at 124 Chestnut Street.[17] The Consulate-General of Israel in Philadelphia is located on the 18th Floor at 1880 John F. Kennedy Boulevard.[18] The Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia is located in Suite 310 of the Bourse Building off of Independence Mall.[19]

The Consulate-General of the Dominican Republic in Philadelphia was located in Suite 216 in the Lafayette Building at 437 Chestnut Street.[20] It closed on November 7, 2005.[21]

Center City Residents' Association[edit]

The Center City Residents' Association, originally formed in 1947 to prevent Rittenhouse Square from being turned into a parking lot, is a primary advocate for quality of life issues in Center City. Other community organizations of this type include Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Society Hill Civic Association, South of South Street)( Neighborhood Association, Washington Square West Civic Association,and the Queen Village Neighbors Association.

Neighborhoods[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

School District of Philadelphia[edit]

Residents are within the School District of Philadelphia.

In 2005, to prevent the flight of middle-class families, the school district and the Center City District, an economic development agency, started a program that promoted public schools in Center City (including Rittenhouse Square and Society Hill) and adjacent areas in Fairmount, Northern Liberties, and South Philadelphia.[22]

K-8 schools that have attendance boundaries in Center City and areas around Center City include:[23]

Neighborhood high schools for Center City and the Center City area, located outside of Center City, include:[24][25][26]

Other high schools include:

Combined middle and high schools include:

Charter schools[edit]

Charter schools not operated by the School District of Philadelphia include:[29]

  • Grades 1-12:
  • Grades 7-12:
  • The Mastery Charter Schools system operates the Mastery Charter Lenfest Campus (7-12) in Old City. It moved from North Philadelphia to Old City in 2002.[30]
  • Grades 5-8:
    • Freire Charter Middle School
  • Grades 6-12:
    • World Communications Charter School
  • Grades 9-12:
    • Architecture and Design Charter School
    • Freire Charter High School
    • Mastery Charter High School
    • Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter School
  • Grades K-8:
    • Laboratory Charter School of Communication and Languages
  • Grades 6-8:
    • Wakisha Charter School
  • Grades K-7:
    • Christopher Columbus Charter School
    • Independence Charter School grades K-8
    • People for People Charter School
  • Grades Pre-K-6:
    • Russell Byers Charter School
  • Grades K-6:
    • Universal Institute Charter School
  • Grades K-5:
    • Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School

Private schools[edit]

Roman Catholic parochial schools[edit]

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia operates the following Roman Catholic parochial schools in the Center City area [1]:

Other private schools[edit]

Other private schools in the Center City area include:

Public libraries[edit]

The Free Library of Philadelphia operates the Parkway Central Library at 1901 Vine Street,[31] the Independence Branch at 18 South 7th Street,[32] the Philadelphia City Institute on the first floor and lower level of an apartment complex at 1905 Locust Street,[33] and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped at 919 Walnut Street.[34]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Local public transit[edit]

Intercity public transit[edit]

Amtrak's primary Philadelphia station, 30th Street Station, is located immediately west of Center City, just across the Schuylkill River. SEPTA Regional Rail trains, New Jersey Transit Atlantic City Line trains, Market-Frankford Line trains, and subway-surface line trolleys also service 30th Street Station, and both Megabus and BoltBus stop on streets adjacent to the station.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.centercityphila.org/living/market_facts.aspx
  2. ^ http://www.centercityphila.org/docs/residentialdevelopment2005.pdf
  3. ^ "The State of Center City 2008", The Center City District and the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation, May 2008.
  4. ^ "Center City District Boundary Map". Center City District web site. Center City District. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  5. ^ PPD Online Patrol Districts, Philadelphia Police Department.
  6. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20070430074123/http://www.philly.com/philly/hp/news_update/20070419_New_signs_make_it_official__We_have_a_gayborhood.html
  7. ^ "Contact Sunoco." Sunoco. Retrieved on August 24, 2009.
  8. ^ "Directions to CIGNA Corporate Offices." Cigna. Retrieved on August 24, 2009.
  9. ^ "Contact ARAMARK." Aramark. Retrieved on August 24, 2009.
  10. ^ "Comcast 2008 Annual Review." Comcast. Retrieved on August 24, 2009.
  11. ^ "Philadelphia." Cozen O'Connor. Retrieved on November 11, 2009.
  12. ^ "Contact." Kogan Page USA. Retrieved on 5 July 2011. "Kogan Page Publishers 1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1100 Philadelphia, PA 19102"
  13. ^ a b Blumenthal, Jeff. "Lincoln sells Delaware Investments." Philadelphia Business Journal. Wednesday August 19, 2009. Modified Thursday August 20, 2009. Retrieved on August 24, 2009.
  14. ^ "Contact Us." Lincoln National Corporation. June 22, 2000. Retrieved on August 24, 2009.
  15. ^ "Northeast Region Office." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on January 1, 2010.
  16. ^ "Welcome to the web site of the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia." Consulate-General of Italy in Philadelphia. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  17. ^ "Panamanian Consulates in the U.S." Embassy of Panama in Washington D.C. Retrieved on February 2, 2009.
  18. ^ "Consular Services: Consular Reception Hours." Consulate-General of Israel in Philadelphia. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  19. ^ "Contactenos." Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  20. ^ "Consulate Offices in the U.S." Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Washington, DC. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  21. ^ "DR to close four consulates in the USA." Dominican Today. November 8, 2005. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  22. ^ Snyder, Susan. "Selling schools - to families, A new campaign touts 20 Center City sites. Its aim: Retain the middle class. Schools pitch aims at stemming flight of the middle class." Philadelphia Inquirer. Monday August 22, 2005. City-D A01 Local. Retrieved on November 8, 2011.
  23. ^ "Center City Public Elementary Schools." Center City District.
  24. ^ "Center City Schools — Maps & Info." Center City District.
  25. ^ "A Guide for September 2007 High School Admissions." School District of Philadelphia.
  26. ^ "A Directory of High Schools for 2009 Admissions." School District of Philadelphia. Accessed November 6, 2008.
  27. ^ "Graduates of General George A. McCall School." Center City District.
  28. ^ "Graduates of Albert M. Greenfield School." Center City District.
  29. ^ "Center City Schools — Maps & Info", Center City District (website) (Center City District/Central Philadelphia Development Corporation), archived from the original on 6 July 2007 
  30. ^ "Lenfest Campus." Mastery Charter Schools. Retrieved on September 10, 2012. "35 South 4th Street Philadelphia, PA 19106"
  31. ^ "Central Library." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on January 20, 2009.
  32. ^ "Independence Branch." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on January 20, 2009.
  33. ^ "Philadelphia City Institute." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on January 20, 2009.
  34. ^ "Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on January 20, 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°57′07″N 75°09′50″W / 39.952°N 75.164°W / 39.952; -75.164