Old City, Philadelphia

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This article is about Philadelphia's historical core. For other uses, see Old City (disambiguation).
Old City Historic District
Philly Street Commons.jpg
A view of Quince Street, a narrow cobblestone road as seen from Locust Street. While not inside the bounds of Old City, it is within the Washington Square West neighborhood to the southwest, this view is representative of many of the small side streets in the area.
Old City, Philadelphia is located in Pennsylvania
Old City, Philadelphia
Location Old city area including parts of Washington Square East Development Area and Franklin Square East Development Area, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 39°57′9.2″N 75°8′33.7″W / 39.952556°N 75.142694°W / 39.952556; -75.142694Coordinates: 39°57′9.2″N 75°8′33.7″W / 39.952556°N 75.142694°W / 39.952556; -75.142694
Area 75 acres (30 ha)
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Greek Revival, Italianate
Governing body National Park Service
NRHP Reference # 72000093[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 5, 1972
Designated PRHP December 12, 2003[2]
A luncheon in Girard Fountain Park after the Oct. 5, 2007, dedication of Keys To Community, a nine-foot bronze bust of Benjamin Franklin by sculptor James Peniston.

Old City is a neighborhood in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, in the area near the Delaware River where William Penn and the Quakers first settled. To tourists, it is best known as the site of Independence Hall and its encompassing Independence National Historical Park, Elfreth's Alley, Carpenters' Hall, the Betsy Ross House, and many of Philadelphia's other historic sites.

The Old City District occupies several blocks between Front and Sixth Streets, bounded by Vine Street to the north and Walnut Street to the south.[3] The Philadelphia Almanac and Citizens' Manual gives a larger set of boundaries to the Old City area, defined as the area within Spring Garden Street, 4th Street, the Delaware River, and Walnut Street. The Old City Redevelopment Area is bound by Vine Street, the Delaware River, Lombard Street and 7th Street.[4]

The Old City Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. In 2003, it was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.[2]

Old City is home to the oldest continually inhabited street in America, Elfreth's Alley,[5] Home to more than 3,000 people since 1702, the street today holds 32 houses built between 1728 and 1836.[6]

Places of note[edit]

Business and commerce[edit]

Old City is one of the city's popular nightlife destinations, with lounges, dive bars, and quality restaurants, mostly along the three blocks from 3rd and Market streets to Front and Chestnut streets. The 3rd Street Corridor, between Market Street and Vine Street, is home to galleries, boutiques, and other locally owned businesses. Landmark Theatres operates three Ritz movie theaters in the area that specialize in art films. During the popular monthly First Friday event, shops hold evening-hours open houses featuring art, design, and fashion. Since 2010, tech firms have moved to the area as well.

Consulates[edit]

Many foreign governments have consulates in Old City, including Panama (124 Chestnut Street),[7] Italy (1026 Public Ledger Building at 150 South Independence Mall West),[8] and Mexico (111 South Independence Mall East).[9] The Dominican Republic closed its consulate in the Lafayette Building at 437 Chestnut Street[10] on November 7, 2005.[11]

Education[edit]

Old City children are assigned to schools in the School District of Philadelphia.

Residents are zoned to the General George A. McCall School for grades Kindergarten through 8.[12] and Furness High School for high school.[13]

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.[14]

Public libraries[edit]

The Free Library of Philadelphia operates its Independence Branch at 18 South 7th Street.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b "PRHP: List of historic districts". Philadelphia Historical Commission. Retrieved 03-12-2013.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ Old City District. Old City District (Map). http://www.oldcitydistrict.org/pdf/ocdmap.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
  4. ^ "Philadelphia Neighborhoods and Place Names, L-P." City of Philadelphia. Accessed November 9, 2008.
  5. ^ "Elfreth's Alley". Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "History of Elfreth's Alley". Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Panamanian Consulates in the U.S." Embassy of Panama in Washington D.C. Retrieved on February 2, 2009.
  8. ^ "Welcome to the web site of the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia." Consulate-General of Italy in Philadelphia. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  9. ^ "Contactenos." Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  10. ^ "Consulate Offices in the U.S." Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Washington, DC. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  11. ^ "DR to close four consulates in the USA." Dominican Today. November 8, 2005. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
  12. ^ McCall map, Center City Schools, [http://www.phila.gov/phils/Docs/otherinfo/pname2.htm More info
  13. ^ Where the Graduates Go." McCall School. Retrieved on November 9, 2008.
  14. ^ "Lenfest Campus." Mastery Charter Schools. Retrieved on September 10, 2012. "35 South 4th Street Philadelphia, PA 19106"
  15. ^ "Independence Branch." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on January 20, 2009.

External links[edit]