Columbus Boulevard (Philadelphia)

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Columbus Boulevard
USS Olympia side.jpg
Location Philadelphia
South end Pattison Avenue in South Philadelphia
I-95 (Delaware Expressway) in South Philadelphia
Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia
North end Spring Garden Street / Delaware Avenue in Center City Philadelphia

Columbus Boulevard (formerly Delaware Avenue) is a major north-south thoroughfare in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is famous for being the location of the Penn's Landing area and is generally parallel with Interstate 95 south of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. The road extends south towards Pattison Avenue and is home to many big box retailers between Snyder Avenue and Oregon Avenue.

The street originated as an informal footpath connecting the docks and piers along the waterfront, a major Atlantic seaport. In 1831, the Philadelphia banker Stephen Girard, died and left the City $500,000 to construct a wide boulevard in its place, to be known as Delaware Avenue. The portion south of Spring Garden Street was controversially renamed after Christopher Columbus in 1992 despite opposition from residents north of Center City and the Lenape (also known as Delaware) nation. Many Philadelphians continue to refer to it as Delaware Avenue.[1] Some older maps of Philadelphia show this route as once being part of Pennsylvania Route 291.


Penn's Landing sign near Columbus Boulevard

The boulevard was originally a "major freshwater port" which has recently seen revitalization with the increase in tourism and the start of casino businesses in the 2000s.[2] The boulevard was dedicated in 1992 as the Italian Americans persuaded city hall to rename the portion of Delaware Avenue in the South Philadelphia area on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus sailing to America.[3] The Christopher Columbus monument which is 106 feet tall was dedicated in the same year.[3]

Major attractions along this route include the Independence Seaport Museum, Penn's Landing, and several notable ships including; the cruiser USS Olympia, the submarine USS Becuna, and the tall ship Moshulu, along with waterfront views of, and easy access to Camden, New Jersey, New Jersey State's Adventure Aquarium and the warship USS New Jersey across the Delaware river.[4]


  1. ^ Harry Kyriakodis. "Delaware Avenue (Columbus Boulevard)". 
  2. ^ Lauren McCutcheon, Carrie Havranek. Frommer's Philadelphia and the Amish Country. 
  3. ^ a b Harry G. Kyriakodis. Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront. 
  4. ^ Richard A. Sauers. Guide to Civil War Philadelphia.