The History of the Philadelphia City Hall

This brief recap of the history of one of Center City’s most recognized buildings is present by the Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers of

There is no question that the city of Philly possesses many historic landmarks that form part of the early history of this country, particularly in the times of the Revolution. In this article, we discuss one of the most important – the Philly City Hall.

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The Philly City Hall

William Penn’s 1683 plan for Philly set Center Square, the biggest of five rectangular squares, aside for open structures. And yet, until the nineteenth century, Center Square was a long way from being a focal points of the city, given that the greater part of the population lived close to the Delaware River, in the area where Independence Hall can also be found (“Old City”).

As the residents began to move westbound and the requirement for a bigger city corridor became a necessity, a transition to Center Square was affirmed in 1870. By then Center Square had been renamed Penn Square in honor of the city’s author, William Penn.

The Construction Begins

Development of the structure began the next year (1871) after a plan by John McArthur, Jr. in the then exceptionally well known Second Empire style. The ambitious plan would result in the tallest structure on the planet. However, when it was finished in 1901 following thirty years of development, the City Hall had been already eclipsed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower.

The gigantic city hall is as yet the tallest and biggest masonry structure on the planet. Since no steel frame was used at the time, the walls at the first floor are 22ft thick which is intended to help all the weight from the floors above. The eight stories, each about 16ft high, look like only three stories to a bystander on the street. The central tower tops out at 511ft and is marked by a statue of William Penn himself. The enormous statue is 37ft high and weighs 27 tons. It is only one of 250 models made by Alexander Calder for both the inside and outside of the city corridor.

Visiting City Hall Today

The structure’s 600+ rooms are sorted out around a central patio which can be reached by means of the enormous openings on every one of the four sides. A significant number of the rooms are extravagantly decorated including the Reception Room with blue and gold roof and red marble segments, and the Conversation Hall which flaunts a glorious ceiling fixture. The central tower has an observation deck open to the public, similar to some of its internal halls.

Penn’s Agreement

By the provisions of a “gentleman’s agreement” that restricted any structure from transcending the hat on the Penn statue, Philadelphia City Hall remained the tallest structure in the city until it was dethroned by One Liberty Place in 1986. The annulment of the historic agreement was believed to have brought about a curse for Philly’s sports teams.

The mythical curse was finally broken 22 years when the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, a year and four months after a small Penn statue had been placed at the top of the light tower on top of the Comcast Center. Another Penn statuette was also set on the highest light emission Comcast Technology Center in November 2017, and the Eagles won the Super Bowl shortly after in the following year.

Our Local Team of Experts

The Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers of have helped countless victims of accidents to recover the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured in a similar situation, contact us today for a free legal consultation.