Penn's Landing

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Penn's Landing
Neighborhood of Philadelphia
Penn's Landing sign
Penn's Landing sign
Philadelphia Neighborhood Map.svg
Country  United States
State Pennsylvania
County Philadelphia County
City Philadelphia
Area code(s) Area code 215
Tugboat off Penn's Landing, near the foot of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
Penn's Landing

Penn's Landing is the waterfront area of the Center City along the Delaware River section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is so named because the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, docked near here in 1682, along the now paved over Dock Creek, after landing first in New Castle, Delaware, and then at what is now Penn & 2nd Streets in Chester, Pennsylvania. The area is bounded by Front Street to the west, the Delaware River to the east, Spring Garden Street to the north, and Washington Avenue to the south, and is primarily focused on the Christopher Columbus Boulevard (Delaware Avenue) corridor. Most of the area is covered in concrete and is cut off from the city by Interstate 95.

Development of the area is handled by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. The corporation is a non-profit that was established in 2009 to manage the publicly owned land on the central waterfront on behalf of the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Features and uses[edit]

Penn's Landing serves as the site for several summertime events in the city. The main public space at Penn’s Landing is The Great Plaza, a mostly concrete labyrinth located along the Delaware River at Christopher Columbus Boulevard and Chestnut Street. Festival Pier at Spring Garden Street serves as a venue for outdoor concerts, also during the summer months. Plans are being developed for two casinos (with licenses granted by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board) along the riverfront, with one being owned by the Planet Hollywood parent company.[1]

Several historic ships are moored at Penn's Landing. The barque Moshulu is a floating restaurant; the World War II-era submarine USS Becuna and the Spanish-American War-era cruiser USS Olympia (C-6) are part of the Independence Seaport Museum; and the barquentine Gazela and tugboat Jupiter are moored there by the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild.

The RiverLink Ferry links Penn's Landing with the Camden, New Jersey waterfront.[2]

Sterling Helicopter operates the only public-use heliport in Philadelphia at Pier 36.

Former trolley[edit]

A 1907 interurban car on the former trolley line, in 1990.

From 1982 until 1995 a heritage trolley line (tramway) operated in Penn's Landing, on weekends and holidays from about April to October each year. Intended to attract tourists and help spur redevelopment of the area,[3] the trolley line was established along a 1.1-mile (1.8 km) section of disused ex-Philadelphia Belt Line Railroad freight railroad track (owned by Conrail),[4] from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to Pier 51.[3] Grants from the city and Fidelity Bank funded the installation of overhead trolley wire and supporting poles, along with an electrical substation to provide power.[3] Operation began on September 5, 1982, and was run by volunteers from the Buckingham Valley Trolley Association. The service used historic trolley cars on loan from museums. When not in use, the cars were stored in a building on city-owned Pier 51.[3] The service ran for the last time on December 17, 1995, and the trolley wire and poles were removed by March 1996.[5]

The Delaware River Port Authority has considered re-opening the Franklin Square PATCO Speedline station and with a connection to a new trolley route on Delaware Avenue/Columbus Road operated by PATCO; however, no fixed dates have been set for either project. [6]

Old Carpenter's Wharf[edit]

Samuel Carpenter's Store, House & Wharf circa 1718.

Samuel Carpenter (1649–1714) bought a lot extending from King Street (now Water Street) to Front Street and on to Second Street in 1683. This lot extends to Ton (now Tun) Alley. On the east side of this lot (Delaware front) he built a wharf, or "a fair key" as mentioned by William Penn, which was the first wharf built in Philadelphia. It became known as "Carpenter's Wharf" and could handle ships of 500 tons or more.[7] Over the years it was expanded, modernized and would now be under Interstate-95 where the highway passes Penn's Landing.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parmley, Suzette, "Planet Hollywood plans Penn's Landing casino", The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 4, 2005, retrieved November 10, 2006.[dead link]
  2. ^ http://www.riverlinkferry.org
  3. ^ a b c d Price, J.H. (February 1983). "Museum News". Modern Tramway and Light Rail Transit magazine, pp. 38–40. Ian Allan Publishing/Light Rail Transit Association (UK). ISSN 0144-1655.
  4. ^ May, Jack (February 1994). "Philly's Trolley Festival a Hit". Passenger Train Journal, pp. 30–35. Pentrex. ISSN 0160-6913.
  5. ^ "Museum News" section. Light Rail & Modern Tramway magazine, June 1996, p. 235. Ian Allan Publishing/Light Rail Transit Association. ISSN 0964-9255.
  6. ^ "PATCO subway station to be reopened". whyy.org. WHYY-FM. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Holme, Thomas, "Portraiture of Philadelphia 1683-1684", which is an early city chart or map, shows the location of building lots of over 1,000 acres.

External links[edit]

Events[edit]

Coordinates: 39°56′44″N 75°08′27″W / 39.94564°N 75.14072°W / 39.94564; -75.14072