Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Grandeur of Philadelphia City Hall

(photos except where noted: TheHopefulTraveler)

Few would argue that Philadelphia City Hall is the most elaborate building in the state. Like a French chateau transplanted to America, it’s full beauty can be appreciated from down one of the several streets that intersect around the building or up close where one fully realizes that it rises 548 feet above the ground.

Constructed from 1871 until 1901, it the largest municipal buildings in the U.S. with over 700 rooms on nine floors housing three branches of government: executive (mayor’s office), legislative (city council) and judicial (civil court).

On top of the building stands a 37 feet tall bronze statue of city founder William Penn and is the tallest on top of any building in the world. Up until 1987 the building itself maintained the distinction as the tallest building in Philadelphia due to an informal gentlemen’s agreement that forbade any structure higher than the statue of Penn. The construction of One Liberty Place nearby ended the agreement.

Trying to get the massive building in one photo is quite an effort and it is when many visitors finally realize the breadth and size of the ornate building. There is a courtyard that is equally decorative and an observation deck that takes guest to just below the base of Penn’s statue. Reference photos are included below since both were closed on this Saturday morning.

Visit for more information. Tour information center is open Mon-Fri 9:30am-4:30pm. Free tours inside City Hall are Mon-Fri at 12:30pm and begin at the information center and lasts approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours. Tower tours offered 9:30am-4:15pm. Timed tickets available at the information center.

City Hall Courtyard (photo: kevinwburkett/flickr)
Observation Deck (photo:
One of several grand staircases inside City Hall.
(photo: flickr4jazz/flickr)


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