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A more realistic look at Philadelphia, however, shows it to be a very modern and vigorous city, arising in gracious counterpoint to the deep serenity of an older city that has provided gentle but firm intellectual, economic, and humanitarian direction to the nation at whose birth it played midwife.

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Many of these are based in ethnic neighbourhoods, others are city wide, and still others serve the affluent “Main Liners” who reside in the plush suburbs that grew up in past centuries along the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad (now Amtrak)., who stressed personal religious experience rather than institutionalized formulations.

A basic sobriety underlying these tenets led to many stringent laws that remain in both the city and state.

Those of its ancient and dilapidated houses that have escaped bulldozing for riverfront expressways resemble the edifices of Society Hill before its restoration began in the 1950s.

This latter area contains some of the city’s finest old houses, taverns, and churches, though some high-rise apartment buildings strike a dissonant note in the hearts of many Philadelphians., where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were created, and many other buildings used by the Revolutionary and early federal governments.

Benjamin Franklin Parkway provides a splendid vista as it cuts diagonally northwestward from Penn Square through the grid, encircling Logan Square and leading into Fairmount Park.

The nation’s largest landscaped park within city limits and the centre of the Centennial Exposition of 1876, Fairmount is one of the most frequent foregrounds for photographs of Philadelphia’s skyline, adding to the city’s reputation for shaded, sculpted elegance.The building itself, opened on January 1, 1901, is one of the city’s great monuments and is the largest example of French that stands atop the building’s main tower; the tip of his hat— almost 549 feet above ground level, or approximately 33 stories—was for some 90 years the highest point in the city, by an unwritten “gentleman’s agreement.” Four shady, fountained squares—Logan, Boulevard is Penn Center, and the long stretch of Broad Street, north and south of Penn Square, has been called the Avenue of the Arts because of its numerous cultural attractions.The multilevel complex comprises high-rise offices and hotels, with interior courts and malls and underground walkways lined with shops and restaurants.The long stretches of Philadelphia north, south, and west of the intersection of Broad and Chestnut streets, a city hub of sorts just below Penn Square, contain numerous distinctive sections, often identified for generations with various ethnic groups that have filled the city during its long history.Among the more interesting is the section of North Philadelphia, settled in Penn’s time by Germans and the home in the 18th century of wealthy Philadelphians fleeing the periodic yellow-fever epidemics of the riverside city.Its place in history was secured by its role as the location of the signing of the The grid of streets in central Philadelphia, the first U. city to be so arranged, follows the original plans of William Penn.

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