Old City, Philadelphia
Old City Historic District
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.
|Location||Old city area including parts of Washington Square East Development Area and Franklin Square East Development Area, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Area||75 acres (30 ha)|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival, Italianate|
|NRHP reference #||72000093|
|Added to NRHP||May 5, 1972|
|Designated PRHP||December 12, 2003|
Old City is a historic neighborhood in Center City, Philadelphia, 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. 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 bounded by Vine Street, the Delaware River, Lombard Street and 7th Street.
Places of note
- Girard Fountain Park
- Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were drafted and signed
- Liberty Bell
- Museum of the American Revolution
- National Constitution Center
- National Museum of American Jewish History
- Penn's Landing
- Betsy Ross House, the site where seamstress Betsy Ross lived when she sewed the first American flag
Business and commerce
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.
Government and infrastructure
Many foreign governments have consulates in Old City, including Panama (124 Chestnut Street), Italy (1026 Public Ledger Building at 150 South Independence Mall West), and Mexico (111 South Independence Mall East). The Dominican Republic closed its consulate in the Lafayette Building at 437 Chestnut Street on November 7, 2005.
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. All persons assigned to McCall are assigned to Benjamin Franklin High School in North Philadelphia. Previously Old City was assigned to Furness High School.
Historic congregations in Old City
- Christ Church (1695)
- Arch Street Meeting (1701)
- Old First Reformed Church (1727)
- Congregation Mikveh Israel (1740)
- Old St. George's Church (1767)
- St. Augustine's Church (1796)
- Seamen's Church Institute (1843)
- In National Treasure (2004), Nicholas Cage's character runs across the roof of Independence Hall.
- In Shooter (2007), Mark Wahlberg's character is set-up for the shooting of the Ethiopian archbishop at Independence Mall.
- National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "PRHP: List of historic districts". Philadelphia Historical Commission. Retrieved 03-12-2013. Check date values in:
- Old City District (PDF) (Map). Old City District. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
- "Philadelphia Neighborhoods and Place Names, L-P." City of Philadelphia. Accessed November 9, 2008.
- "Elfreth's Alley". Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "History of Elfreth's Alley". Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
- "Northeast Regional Office." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on June 9, 2015. "U.S. CUSTOM HOUSE, 7TH FLOOR PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106"
- "Panamanian Consulates in the U.S." Embassy of Panama in Washington D.C. Retrieved on February 2, 2009.
- "Welcome to the web site of the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia." Consulate-General of Italy in Philadelphia. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
- "Contactenos Archived 2009-03-02 at the Wayback Machine.." Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
- "Consulate Offices in the U.S." Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Washington, DC. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
- "DR to close four consulates in the USA Archived 2009-06-20 at the Wayback Machine.." Dominican Today. November 8, 2005. Retrieved on February 1, 2009.
- McCall map, Center City Schools, [http://www.phila.gov/phils/Docs/otherinfo/pname2.htm More info
- "High School Directory Fall 2017 Admissions" (Archive). School District of Philadelphia. p. 30/70. Retrieved on November 16, 2016.
- Where the Graduates Go." McCall School. Retrieved on November 9, 2008.
- "Horace Furness High School Geographic Boundaries" (Archive). School District of Philadelphia. Retrieved on October 4, 2011.
- "Lenfest Campus." Mastery Charter Schools. Retrieved on September 10, 2012. "35 South 4th Street Philadelphia, PA 19106"
- "Independence Branch." Free Library of Philadelphia. Retrieved on January 20, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Old City (Philadelphia).|
- Old City District
- "A Glimpse into the History of the 401 Block of Arch Street, Philadelphia." Retrieved 22 October 2007.
- Philadelphia/Old City travel guide from Wikivoyage