« AnteriorContinuar »
By day and by night the heroic figure of William Penn dominates the landscape for miles beyond the City's limits, which extend sixteen miles to the northeast, eight miles to the southwest, five miles to the southeast, and eleven miles to the northwest.
HE celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence
and the birth of American freedom is an event of such national and international importance that the eyes of the nation, and indeed of the whole world, naturally centre and focus on Philadelphia—the Sesqui-Centennial City.
As the arena of the nation's past, Philadelphia is without a peer among American cities. More than a city of historic memories, Philadelphia is a city of historic memorials. Here still stand the halls in which were enunciated the principles of human rights that gave birth to free institutions. Here are the very houses where the patriotic men of old assembled and first framed the legislative foundations of free government. Here are the historic scenes where the Revolutionary leaders and soldiers fought and sacrificed for the principles and institutions at stake. Here are still visible mansions, sites, and relics that remind us that not brick and mortar but sentiment and character build a nation. The Philadelphia of the past survives in the Philadelphia of to-day; and cherished shrines and homes, historic industries and institutions, stirring relics of Colonial, Revolutionary and early National days make the city a living and perpetual fountain of patriotic inspiration.
As a register of national progress and prosperity after 150 years of American Independence, Philadelphia of to-day is even more impressive and inspiring. In the brief period of a century and a half since the first Continental Congress met in 1774, population and industries, natural resources and transportation, and all forms of civic and social activities have grown and developed with giant strides, and in full keeping with the spirit and genius of a free people.
In Philadelphia to-day may be seen the great and growing Port of Philadelphia, through which flows the unmeasured natural resources of the country and the state: bituminous and anthracite coal, iron and other mine wealth, products of forest and farm, the output of giant iron and steel industries, and the diversified manufactured products of creative industry. The great Penn boulevard along Delaware Avenue, the magnificent municipal piers for coastwise and ocean traffic, the elevated and belt-line means of transportation, the spacious manufacturing and storage plants lining the Delaware river front, the river crowded with shipping, and the new giant Delaware River bridge, all offer inspiring evidence of the growth and progress since the days when William Penn first landed at Dock Street, and Benjamin Franklin came ashore in Philadelphia near the spot where John Fitch later established on the Delaware the first steamboat service in the world.
Throughout the city and its suburbs one finds to-day multiplied evidence of the progressive march of American democracy in the last century and a half. Some of the more important facts showing the growth and progress of the Philadelphia of to-day follow:
The original city of Philadelphia contained two square miles; in 1854, city and county were made co-terminous, making the total area to-day over 129 square miles, embracing 1,718 miles of streets.
In 1790 the population of Philadelphia city and county was 54,391; in 1876 it was 817,448; to-day it is over 2,100,000.
THE NEW PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART, FAIRMOUNT PARK-UNDER CONSTRUCTION AT THE HEAD OF THE PARKWAY
THE LATEST MUNICIPAL PIER. NO. 84 SOUTH DELAWARE AVENUE, AT THE FOOT OF PORTER STREET
THE FOOT OF AT
Aerial Photograph by Victor Dallin THE RISING OLD CITY-AS SEEN ACROSS RITTENHOUSE SQUARE This picture reveals the astonishing growth of the city west of City Hall. Flanking the Square are new, skyscraping apartment houses and the fast rising Penn Athletic Club, planned to be the greatest clubhouse in the world. Across the railroad tracks into Broad Street Station stands out the mammoth new building of the Insurance Company of North America, and beyond it the dominating white tower of the new Elverson Building.
THE LATEST MU'NICIPAL PIER. NO. 84 SOUTH DELAWARE
In 1777 the number of houses in Philadelphia was 3,863; to-day Philadelphia has 430,242 buildings, of which 410,136 are dwellings, 6,875 shops and factories, 794 office buildings, and 1,004 churches
In 1770 the tota revenue of the city of Philadelphia was £800; in 1925 the city budget for municipal expenditures was $69,377,482; the latest real estate assessments of the city showed property valued at $2,747,153,000.
The first native white child born on Philadelphia soil saw light at Second and Walnut Streets in 1680; the number of native born persons in Philadelphia recorded in the last census was 1,290,253.
In 1688 the first public protest against human slavery was presented to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends; the number of negro citizens in Philadelphia shown by the last census was 134,229.
The first public industry on Philadelphia soil was the Swedish mill erected at Cobb's Creek in 1643; to-day Philadelphia has 6,583 manufacturing establishments, employing 278,591 wage earners; the total value of production of all classes of industry in the last year recorded was $1,653,281,300.