History of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The information in this article is presented by the slip and fall lawyers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from Philly Slip & Fall Guys. We hope you enjoy this article’s information and discover something you may not have known about Philly. 


Long before Europeans settled in Pennsylvania, the land where Philadelphia is situated belonged to the Lenape Indians from the village of Shackamaxon. The Native American tribe was the first nation’s band government and occupied territory in Lower Hudson Valley, west of Long Island, and along the Delaware River watershed. During the 18th century, expanding European colonies forced most Lenape out of their Delaware homeland, which was compounded by defeats from intertribal wars.

In the early 17th century, the first settlers in the area were Dutch and built Fort Nassau in 1623 on the Delaware River. In 1681, Charles II of England granted Penn a charter for what would become the Pennsylvania colony as part of debt repayment. From 1790 to 1800, Philadelphia acted as the provisional capital of the United States while the new capital in the District of Columbia was being built.

Philadelphia was home to many factories and enterprises throughout the nineteenth century, the majority of which was textiles. The Baldwin Locomotive Works, William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company, and the Pennsylvania Railroad were all major companies in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


The architectural background of Philadelphia dates back to colonial times and encompasses a wide variety of styles. The earliest buildings were made of logs, but by 1700, brick structures were widespread. Georgian architecture, such as Independence Hall and Christ Church, dominated the cityscape throughout the 18th century.

The PSFS Building, designed by George Howe and William Lescaze and completed in 1932, was the first new International Style skyscraper in the United States. Until 1987, when One Liberty Place was built, the 548-foot City Hall was the city’s tallest structure. Beginning in the late 1980s, a slew of glass and granite skyscrapers stood in Center City. The Comcast Center exceeded One Liberty Place as the city’s tallest structure in 2007.

There is so much cultural history within these architectural buildings’ walls, with most of them being open to the public. Whether you’re a local in Philly or just visiting, we recommend you take some time to stroll the streets of Philadelphia and admire all the historical architecture all around you.

Continue reading our next article on our neighboring city of Harrowgate.

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The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania slip and fall injury lawyers that form part of the Philly Slip and Fall Guys team hope you’ve found this article informative – if you or a loved one has suffered injuries caused by a slip, trip, or fall, contact our legal team to schedule your free consultation today.