Largest city in Pennsylvania, United States
Top 10 Philadelphia related articles
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Education
- 6 Culture
- 7 Sports
- 8 Parks
- 9 Law and government
- 10 Media
- 11 Infrastructure
- 12 Notable people
- 13 Sister cities
- 14 See also
- 15 Notes
- 16 References
- 17 Further reading
- 18 External links
|City of Philadelphia|
|Etymology: Ancient Greek: φίλος phílos (beloved, dear) and ἀδελφός adelphós (brother, brotherly)|
Location within Pennsylvania
Location within United States
Philadelphia (North America)
|Historic countries||Kingdom of England|
Kingdom of Great Britain
|Historic colony||Kingdom of Great Britain Province of Pennsylvania|
|Incorporated||October 25, 1701|
|Founded by||William Penn|
|• Type||Mayor–council, consolidated city-county|
|• Body||Philadelphia City Council|
|• Mayor||Jim Kenney (D)|
|• Consolidated city-county||142.70 sq mi (369.59 km2)|
|• Land||134.28 sq mi (347.78 km2)|
|• Water||8.42 sq mi (21.81 km2)|
|Elevation||39 ft (12 m)|
|• Consolidated city-county||1,526,006|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||US city: 6th|
|• Density||11,796.81/sq mi (4,554.76/km2)|
|• Metro||6,096,120 (US: 8th)|
|• CSA||7,206,807 (US: 8th)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
19092–19093, 19099, 191xx
|Area codes||215, 267, 445|
|GNIS feature ID||1215531|
|Major airport||Philadelphia International Airport|
|Commuter rail||SEPTA Regional Rail, NJ Transit|
|Rapid transit||Broad Street Line, Market–Frankford Line, PATCO Speedline|
Philadelphia, colloquially Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2019 estimated population of 1,584,064. Since 1854, the city has had the same geographic boundaries as Philadelphia County, the most-populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017[update]. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural center of the greater Delaware Valley along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill rivers within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million makes it the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.
Philadelphia is one of the oldest municipalities in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia remained the nation's largest city until being overtaken by New York City in 1790; the city was also one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, serving as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub. The city grew due to an influx of European immigrants, most of whom initially came from Ireland and Germany—the two largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015[update]. Later immigrant groups in the 20th century came from Italy (Italian being the third largest European ethnic ancestry currently reported in Philadelphia) and other Southern European and Eastern European countries. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War. Puerto Ricans began moving to the city in large numbers in the period between World War I and II, and in even greater numbers in the post-war period. The city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950.
The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. As of 2019[update], the Philadelphia metropolitan area is estimated to produce a gross metropolitan product (GMP) of $490 billion. Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of almost 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States. The city is known for its arts, culture, cuisine, and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent $6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has also emerged as a biotechnology hub.
Philadelphia is the home of many U.S. firsts, including the first library (1731), hospital (1751), medical school (1765), national capital (1774), stock exchange (1790), zoo (1874), and business school (1881). Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall. The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States.
Philadelphia Intro articles: 60
Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape (Delaware) Indians in the village of Shackamaxon. The Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are also called Delaware Indians, and their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley.[a] Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases, mainly smallpox, and violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people occasionally fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin. The American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west. In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma and surrounding territory) under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living also in Wisconsin, Ontario (Canada), and in their traditional homelands.
Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey. The Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina (present-day Wilmington, Delaware) and quickly spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their war against Maryland colonists. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area. The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a Dutch military campaign led by New Netherland Director-General Peter Stuyvesant took control of the Swedish colony, ending its claim to independence. The Swedish and Finnish settlers continued to have their own militia, religion, and court, and to enjoy substantial autonomy under the Dutch. An English fleet captured the New Netherland colony in 1664, though the situation did not change substantially until 1682 when the area was included in William Penn's charter for Pennsylvania.
In 1681, in partial repayment of a debt, Charles II of England granted Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony. Despite the royal charter, Penn bought the land from the local Lenape to be on good terms with the Native Americans and ensure peace for his colony. Penn made a treaty of friendship with Lenape chief Tammany under an elm tree at Shackamaxon, in what is now the city's Fishtown neighborhood. Penn named the city Philadelphia, which is Greek for "brotherly love," derived from the Ancient Greek terms φίλος phílos (beloved, dear) and ἀδελφός adelphós (brother, brotherly). The city of Amman was also named Philadelphia during its Greek and Roman periods, and was mentioned as the site of an early Christian congregation in the Book of Revelation. As a Quaker, Penn had experienced religious persecution and wanted his colony to be a place where anyone could worship freely. This tolerance, far more than afforded by most other colonies, led to better relations with the local native tribes and fostered Philadelphia's rapid growth into America's most important city.
Penn planned a city on the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government. Hoping that Philadelphia would become more like an English rural town instead of a city, Penn laid out roads on a grid plan to keep houses and businesses spread far apart, with areas for gardens and orchards. The city's inhabitants did not follow Penn's plans, however, as they crowded by the Delaware River port, and subdivided and resold their lots. Before Penn left Philadelphia for the last time, he issued the Charter of 1701 establishing it as a city. Though poor at first, the city became an important trading center with tolerable living conditions by the 1750s. Benjamin Franklin, a leading citizen, helped improve city services and founded new ones, such as fire protection, a library, and one of the American colonies' first hospitals.
A number of philosophical societies were formed, which were centers of the city's intellectual life: the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture (1785), the Pennsylvania Society for the Encouragement of Manufactures and the Useful Arts (1787), the Academy of Natural Sciences (1812), and the Franklin Institute (1824). These societies developed and financed new industries, attracting skilled and knowledgeable immigrants from Europe.
Philadelphia's importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America's revolutionaries. By the 1750s, Philadelphia had surpassed Boston to become the largest city and busiest port in British America, and second in the British Empire after London. The city hosted the First Continental Congress (1774) before the Revolutionary War; the Second Continental Congress (1775–76), which signed the United States Declaration of Independence, during the war; and the Constitutional Convention (1787) after the war. Several battles were fought in and near Philadelphia as well.
Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the United States while the new capital was under construction in the District of Columbia from 1790 to 1800. In 1793, the largest yellow fever epidemic in U.S. history killed approximately 4,000 to 5,000 people in Philadelphia, or about 10% of the city's population.
The state capital was moved to Lancaster in 1799, then Harrisburg in 1812, while the federal government was moved to Washington, D.C. in 1800 upon completion of the White House and U.S. Capitol building. The city remained the young nation's largest until the late 18th century, being both a financial and a cultural center for America. In 1816, the city's free black community founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black denomination in the country, and the first black Episcopal Church. The free black community also established many schools for its children, with the help of Quakers. New York City surpassed Philadelphia in population by 1790. Large-scale construction projects for new roads, canals, and railroads made Philadelphia the first major industrial city in the United States.
Throughout the 19th century, Philadelphia hosted a variety of industries and businesses, the largest being textiles. Major corporations in the 19th and early 20th centuries included the Baldwin Locomotive Works, William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company, and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Established in 1870, the Philadelphia Conveyancers' Association was chartered by the state in 1871. Industry, along with the U.S. Centennial, was celebrated in 1876 with the Centennial Exposition, the first official World's Fair in the United States.
Immigrants, mostly from Ireland and Germany, settled in Philadelphia and the surrounding districts. These immigrants were largely responsible for the first general strike in North America in 1835, in which workers in the city won the ten-hour workday. The city was a destination for thousands of Irish immigrants fleeing the Great Famine in the 1840s; housing for them was developed south of South Street and later occupied by succeeding immigrants. They established a network of Catholic churches and schools and dominated the Catholic clergy for decades. Anti-Irish, anti-Catholic nativist riots erupted in Philadelphia in 1844. The rise in population of the surrounding districts helped lead to the Act of Consolidation of 1854, which extended the city limits from the 2 square miles (5.2 km2) of Center City to the roughly 134 square miles (350 km2) of Philadelphia County. In the latter half of the century, immigrants from Russia, Eastern Europe and Italy, and African Americans from the southern U.S. settled in the city.
Philadelphia was represented by the Washington Grays in the American Civil War. The African-American population of Philadelphia increased from 31,699 to 219,559 between 1880 and 1930. Twentieth-century black newcomers were part of the Great Migration out of the rural south to northern and midwestern industrial cities.
By the 20th century, Philadelphia had an entrenched Republican political machine and a complacent population. The first major reform came in 1917 when outrage over the election-year murder of a police officer led to the shrinking of the City Council from two houses to just one. In July 1919, Philadelphia was one of more than 36 industrial cities nationally to suffer a race riot of ethnic whites against blacks during Red Summer, in post-World War I unrest, as recent immigrants competed with blacks for jobs. In the 1920s, the public flouting of Prohibition laws, organized crime, mob violence, and police involvement in illegal activities led to the appointment of Brig. Gen. Smedley Butler of the U.S. Marine Corps as director of public safety, but political pressure prevented any long-term success in fighting crime and corruption.
In 1940, non-Hispanic whites constituted 86.8% of the city's population. The population peaked at more than two million residents in 1950, then began to decline with the restructuring of industry, which led to the loss of many middle-class union jobs. In addition, suburbanization had enticed many of the more affluent residents to outlying railroad commuting towns and newer housing. The resulting reduction in Philadelphia's tax base and the resources of local government caused the city to struggle through a long period of adjustment, with it approaching bankruptcy by the late 1980s.
Revitalization and gentrification of neighborhoods began in the late 1970s and continues into the 21st century, with much of the development occurring in the Center City and University City neighborhoods. After many of the old manufacturers and businesses left Philadelphia or shut down, the city started attracting service businesses and began to market itself more aggressively as a tourist destination. Contemporary glass-and-granite skyscrapers were built in Center City beginning in the 1980s. Historic areas such as Old City and Society Hill were renovated during the reformist mayoral era of the 1950s through the 1980s, making those areas among the most desirable neighborhoods in Center City. These developments have begun a reversal of the city's population decline between 1950 and 2000 during which it lost about one-quarter of its residents. The city eventually began experiencing a growth in its population in 2007, which has continued with gradual yearly increases to the present. Although Philadelphia is rapidly undergoing gentrification, the city actively maintains strategies to minimize displacement of homeowmers in gentrifying neighborhoods.
Philadelphia History articles: 102
The geographic center of Philadelphia is located approximately at 40° 0′ 34″ north latitude and 75° 8′ 0″ west longitude. The 40th parallel north passes through neighborhoods in Northeast Philadelphia, North Philadelphia, and West Philadelphia including Fairmount Park. The city encompasses 142.71 square miles (369.62 km2), of which 134.18 square miles (347.52 km2) is land and 8.53 square miles (22.09 km2), or 6%, is water. Natural bodies of water include the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, the lakes in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, and Cobbs, Wissahickon, and Pennypack creeks. The largest artificial body of water is the East Park Reservoir in Fairmount Park.
The lowest point is sea level, while the highest point is in Chestnut Hill, about 446 feet (136 m) above sea level on Summit Street near the intersection of Germantown Avenue and Bethlehem Pike (example coordinates near high point: 40.07815 N, 75.20747 W).
Philadelphia is situated on the Fall Line that separates the Atlantic coastal plain from the Piedmont. The rapids on the Schuylkill River at East Falls were inundated by the completion of the dam at the Fairmount Water Works.
The city is the seat of its own county. The adjacent counties are Montgomery to the northwest; Bucks to the north and northeast; Burlington County, New Jersey, to the east; Camden County, New Jersey, to the southeast; Gloucester County, New Jersey, to the south; and Delaware County to the southwest.
Philadelphia's central city was created in the 17th century following the plan by William Penn's surveyor Thomas Holme. Center City is structured with long, straight streets running nearly due east–west and north–south, forming a grid pattern between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers that is aligned with their courses. The original city plan was designed to allow for easy travel and to keep residences separated by open space that would help prevent the spread of fire. In keeping with the idea of a "Greene Countrie Towne", and inspired by the many types of trees that grew in the region, Penn named many of the east-west streets for local trees. Penn planned the creation of five public parks in the city which were renamed in 1824 (new names in parentheses): Centre Square (Penn Square), Northeast Square (Franklin Square), Southeast Square (Washington Square), Southwest Square (Rittenhouse Square), and Northwest Square (Logan Circle/Square). Center City had an estimated 183,240 residents as of 2015[update], making it the second-most populated downtown area in the United States, after Midtown Manhattan in New York City.
Philadelphia's neighborhoods are divided into large sections—North, Northeast, South, Southwest, West, and Northwest—surrounding Center City, which correspond closely with the city's limits before consolidation in 1854. Each of these large areas contains numerous neighborhoods, some of whose boundaries derive from the boroughs, townships, and other communities that constituted Philadelphia County before their inclusion within the city.
The City Planning Commission, tasked with guiding growth and development of the city, has divided the city into 18 planning districts as part of the Philadelphia2035 physical development plan. Much of the city's 1980 zoning code was overhauled from 2007 to 2012 as part of a joint effort between former mayors John F. Street and Michael Nutter. The zoning changes were intended to rectify incorrect zoning maps to facilitate future community development, as the city forecasts an additional 100,000 residents and 40,000 jobs will be added by 2035.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) is the largest landlord in Pennsylvania. Established in 1937, the PHA is the nation's fourth-largest housing authority, serving about 81,000 people with affordable housing, while employing 1,400 on a budget of $371 million. The Philadelphia Parking Authority works to ensure adequate parking for city residents, businesses and visitors.
Philadelphia's architectural history dates back to colonial times and includes a wide range of styles. The earliest structures were constructed with logs, but brick structures were common by 1700. During the 18th century, the cityscape was dominated by Georgian architecture, including Independence Hall and Christ Church.
In the first decades of the 19th century, Federal and Greek Revival architecture were the dominant styles produced by Philadelphia architects such as Benjamin Latrobe, William Strickland, John Haviland, John Notman, Thomas Walter, and Samuel Sloan. Frank Furness is considered Philadelphia's greatest architect of the second half of the 19th century. His contemporaries included John McArthur Jr., Addison Hutton, Wilson Eyre, the Wilson Brothers, and Horace Trumbauer. In 1871, construction began on the Second Empire-style Philadelphia City Hall. The Philadelphia Historical Commission was created in 1955 to preserve the cultural and architectural history of the city. The commission maintains the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, adding historic buildings, structures, sites, objects and districts as it sees fit.
In 1932, Philadelphia became home to the first modern International Style skyscraper in the United States, the PSFS Building, designed by George Howe and William Lescaze. The 548 ft (167 m) City Hall remained the tallest building in the city until 1987 when One Liberty Place was completed. Numerous glass and granite skyscrapers were built in Center City beginning in the late 1980s. In 2007, the Comcast Center surpassed One Liberty Place to become the city's tallest building. The Comcast Technology Center was completed in 2018, reaching a height of 1,121 ft (342 m), as the tallest building in the United States outside of Manhattan and Chicago.
For much of Philadelphia's history, the typical home has been the row house. The row house was introduced to the United States via Philadelphia in the early 19th century and, for a time, row houses built elsewhere in the United States were known as "Philadelphia rows". A variety of row houses are found throughout the city, from Federal-style continuous blocks in Old City and Society Hill to Victorian-style homes in North Philadelphia to twin row houses in West Philadelphia. While newer homes have been built recently, much of the housing dates to the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, which has created problems such as urban decay and vacant lots. Some neighborhoods, including Northern Liberties and Society Hill, have been rehabilitated through gentrification.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
According to the Köppen climate classification, Philadelphia falls under the northern periphery of the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen Cfa), whereas according to the Trewartha climate classification, the city has a temperate maritime climate (Do) limited to the north by the continental climate (Dc). Summers are typically hot and muggy, fall and spring are generally mild, and winter is moderately cold. The plant life hardiness zones are 7a and 7b, representing an average annual extreme minimum temperature between 0 and 10 °F (−18 and −12 °C).
Snowfall is highly variable with some winters having only light snow while others include major snowstorms. The normal seasonal snowfall averages 22.4 in (57 cm), with rare snowfalls in November or April, and rarely any sustained snow cover. Seasonal snowfall accumulation has ranged from trace amounts in 1972–73 to 78.7 inches (200 cm) in the winter of 2009–10.[b] The city's heaviest single-storm snowfall was 30.7 in (78 cm) which occurred in January 1996.
Precipitation is generally spread throughout the year, with eight to eleven wet days per month, at an average annual rate of 41.5 inches (1,050 mm), but historically ranging from 29.31 in (744 mm) in 1922 to 64.33 in (1,634 mm) in 2011. The most rain recorded in one day occurred on July 28, 2013 when 8.02 in (204 mm) fell at Philadelphia International Airport. Philadelphia has a moderately sunny climate with an average of 2,500 hours of sunshine annually, and a percentage of sunshine ranging from 47% in December to 61% in June, July, and August.
The January daily average temperature is 33.0 °F (0.6 °C), though the temperature frequently rises to 50 °F (10 °C) during thaws and dips to 10 °F (−12 °C) for 2 or 3 nights in a normal winter. July averages 78.1 °F (25.6 °C), although heat waves accompanied by high humidity and heat indices are frequent, with highs reaching or exceeding 90 °F (32 °C) on 27 days of the year. The average window for freezing temperatures is November 6 thru April 2, allowing a growing season of 217 days. Early fall and late winter are generally dry with February having the lowest average precipitation at 2.64 inches (67 mm). The dewpoint in the summer averages between 59.1 and 64.5 °F (15 and 18 °C).
The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) on August 7, 1918, but temperatures at or above 100 °F (38 °C) are not common.[c] The lowest officially recorded temperature was −11 °F (−24 °C) on February 9, 1934. Temperatures at or below 0 °F (−18 °C) are rare with the last such occurrence being January 19, 1994. The record low maximum is 5 °F (−15 °C) on February 10, 1899, and December 30, 1880, while the record high minimum is 83 °F (28 °C) on July 23, 2011, and July 24, 2010.
|Climate data for Philadelphia (Philadelphia Airport), 1981–2010 normals,[d] extremes 1872–present[e]|
|Record high °F (°C)||74
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||62.0
|Average high °F (°C)||40.3
|Average low °F (°C)||25.6
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||8.7
|Record low °F (°C)||−7
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.03
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||6.5
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||10.6||9.4||10.5||11.3||11.1||9.8||9.9||8.4||8.7||8.6||9.3||10.6||118.2|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||4.4||3.6||1.8||0.4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.2||1.8||12.2|
|Average relative humidity (%)||66.2||63.6||61.7||60.4||65.4||67.8||69.6||70.4||71.6||70.8||68.4||67.7||67.0|
|Average dew point °F (°C)||19.8
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||155.7||154.7||202.8||217.0||245.1||271.2||275.6||260.1||219.3||204.5||154.7||137.7||2,498.4|
|Percent possible sunshine||52||52||55||55||55||61||61||61||59||59||52||47||56|
|Average ultraviolet index||2||3||4||6||8||9||9||8||6||4||2||2||5|
|Source 1: NOAA (relative humidity, dew point and sun 1961–1990)|
|Source 2: Weather Atlas (UV index) |
|Climate data for Philadelphia|
|Average sea temperature °F (°C)||41.8
|Mean daily daylight hours||10.0||11.0||12.0||13.0||14.0||15.0||15.0||14.0||12.0||11.0||10.0||9.0||12.2|
|Source: Weather Atlas |
Philadelphia County received an ozone grade of F and a 24-hour particle pollution rating of D in the American Lung Association's 2017 State of the Air report, which analyzed data from 2013 to 2015. The city was ranked 22nd for ozone, 20th for short-term particle pollution, and 11th for year-round particle pollution. According to the same report, the city experienced a significant reduction in high ozone days since 2001—from nearly 50 days per year to fewer than 10—along with fewer days of high particle pollution since 2000—from about 19 days per year to about 3—and an approximate 30% reduction in annual levels of particle pollution since 2000. Five of the ten largest combined statistical areas (CSAs) were ranked higher for ozone: Los Angeles (1st), New York City (9th), Houston (12th), Dallas (13th), and San Jose (18th). Many smaller CSAs were also ranked higher for ozone including Sacramento (8th), Las Vegas (10th), Denver (11th), El Paso (16th), and Salt Lake City (20th); however, only two of those same ten CSAs—San Jose and Los Angeles—were ranked higher than Philadelphia for both year-round and short-term particle pollution.