Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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This article is about Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For other uses of the term Philadelphia, please see Philadelphia (disambiguation).
Philadelphia as seen from the South Street Bridge (Schuylkill River) in 2016

Philadelphia is a large city in the southeastern corner of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, situated just above the confluence of the Schuylkill River and the Delaware River. It is the most populous city in the state, and sixth most populous city in the U.S. and is often referred to as Philly or The City of Brotherly Love per the Greek words philos (love) and adelphos (brother).

Philadelphia was founded in 1682 by William Penn. Before the European settlers, an Indian tribe, the Lenape, had a village called Shackamaxon. Philadelphia was the capital of the United States of America from 1790-1800.

Philadelphia is home to one of the twelve district Federal Reserve System banks.


The original city of Philadelphia--now the referred to as the Center City neighborhood--was laid out on a grid, bounded by the Delaware River to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west, South Street to the south, and Vine Street to the north. There are six counties surrounding the Philadelphia county. They are Montgomery County to the north, Bucks County to the northeast, Burlington County in New Jersey to the east, Camden County in New Jersey to the southeast, Gloucester County also in New Jersey to the south and Delaware County to the west.


Philadelphia is home to many world class institutions of higher education. They include:

  • Drexel University
  • La Salle University
  • St. Joseph's University
  • Temple University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Haverford College
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Villanova University
  • Swarthmore College
  • Moore College of Art and Design

Museum District

The museum district, also called the cultural district, runs along Benjamin Franklin Parkway from the art museum (western end) to Logan Square (eastern end).[1] It includes the following:

  • the Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • the Franklin Institute
  • the Barnes Foundation
  • the Moore College of Art and Design
  • the Academy of Natural Sciences
  • the Rodin Museum
  • the Parkway Central Library (the main site for the Free Library of Philadelphia).[2]


Philadelphia has several major sports teams:

Public Transportation

Philadelphia's public transportation is provided by SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transport Authority). SEPTA operates regional rails, subways, trolleys, buses and light rails. SEPTA trains meet up with NJ Transit trains (New Jersey) in Trenton, NJ, making it possible to ride local trains from the Philadelphia region all the way into New York City.

Philadelphia has Amtrak train service at 30th Street Station, which is adjacent to Center City. 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, is the Amtrak junction for Amtrak trains running up and down the eastern seacoast to meet Amtrak trains heading due west towards Harrisburg, PA.


Situated as it is between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, and with several other significant creeks running through it, it is not surprising that Philadelphia has a lot of bridges. The following lists are still mostly incomplete.

Over the Schuylkill River:

  • Strawberry Mansion Bridge - a historically significant steel arch bridge over the Schuylkill and dates to 1897.
  • South Street Bridge

Over the Delaware River:

Over Pennypack Creek:

  • Frankford Avenue Bridge - the oldest road bridge in the U.S., a 3-span stone arch across Pennypack Creek built in 1697 to connect William Penn's house with Philadelphia; it has been altered several times and is on U.S. Route 13.

Over Tacony Creek:

  • Fisher's Lane Bridge - a stone arch bridge that dates to 1796 over Tacony Creek on Fisher's Lane, now located in Tacony Creek Park

Over Monoshone Creek (and over Lincoln Drive):

  • Walnut Lane Memorial Bridge - a.k.a. Walnut Lane Bridge, carries Walnut Lane over Lincoln Drive; completed in 1950, it was the first pre-stressed concrete girder bridge in the U.S.

Over Wissahickon Creek in Fairmount Park (from north to south):

  • Bells Mill Bridge - a road bridge that carries Bells Mill Road over Wissahickon Creek
  • Thomas Mill Covered Bridge - the only covered bridge remaining in Philadelphia. It was built in 1855 and is now open to pedestrians only.
  • Valley Green Bridge - a stone arch bridge dating from 1832.
  • Walnut Lane Bridge - built in 1908 and at the time of its construction the largest concrete arch bridge in the world.[3]
  • Blue Stone Bridge - which carries Forbidden Drive over Wissahickon Creek, is a small stone bridge built in 1893.
  • Wissahickon Memorial Bridge - also known as the Henry Avenue Bridge, is a bridge of similar design to Walnut Lane Bridge that dates from 1931


  1. Benjamin Franklin Parkway a.k.a. "the museum district", on Google maps.
  2. Free Library of Philadelphia official website
  3. Walnut Lane Bridge official website