Old City  

Old City is a neighborhood in Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, near the Delaware River waterfront. It is home to Independence National Historical Park, a dense section of historic landmarks including Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the First Bank of the United States, the Second Bank of the United States, and Carpenters’ Hall. It also includes historical streets, such as Elfreth’s Alley, dating back to 1703.

History

Along with the northern part of Society Hill, Old City is one of Philadelphia, PA‘s oldest neighborhoods and part of the area where William Penn and the Quakers first settled. It hosted the governments of Pennsylvania and the United States of America for most of the period from 1776-1800 and was North America’s most important financial center through the 1830s. As Philadelphia’s central business district gradually moved west, it became a warehouse and light industrial precinct. Many historical sites were restored or reconstructed in the twentieth century, especially during the development of Independence National Historical Park after 1943 and culminating with the United States Bicentennial in 1976. In the 1980s, the warehouse area north of Chestnut and especially Market Streets became famous for art galleries and artist’s studios (the latter displaced mainly by gentrification in the 1990s) as well as bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

Architecture

In addition to Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old City includes hundreds of actual examples of Georgian and Federal public buildings, churches, and houses; Greek Revival and Italianate banks and exchanges; and cast-iron warehouses and as the Old City Historic District added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. In 2003, the district was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

Business

Old City is one of Philadelphia’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 Theatre operates three Ritz movie theaters that specialize in art films. During the popular monthly First Friday event, art galleries, studios, and shops hold evening-hours open houses featuring art, design, and fashion. Since 2010, tech firms have moved to the area as well. Junk Removal Philadelphia Kings

Boundaries

The Old City special services district stretches from Front to Sixth Streets between Walnut and Vine. 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. Vine Street, the Delaware River, Lombard Street, and 7th Street bound the Old City Redevelopment Area.

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