Center City includes the central business district and central neighborhoods of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It comprises the area that made up the City of Philadelphia before the Act of Consolidation, 1854, which extended the city borders to be coterminous with Philadelphia County.
Greater Center City (defined from Girard Avenue to Tasker Street) has grown into the second-most densely populated downtown area in the United States, after Midtown Manhattan in New York City, with an estimated 202,100 residents in 2020 and a population density of 26,284 per square mile.
Among Center City’s neighborhoods and districts are Penn’s Landing, Old City, Society Hill, South Street, Washington Square West, Market East, Chinatown, Logan Square, the Museum District (located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway), Rittenhouse Square, Fitler Square, the Avenue of the Arts (South Broad Street), and Jewelers’ Row.
Center City is home to most of Philadelphia’s tallest buildings, including Philadelphia’s City Hall, the second-tallest masonry building in the world and, until 1987, the tallest in Philadelphia, PA, as well as the tallest building in the world for seven years. In March 1987, One Liberty Place broke the gentlemen’s agreement not to exceed the height of the statue of William Penn atop City Hall. Upon the completion of One Liberty Place, no Philadelphia major-league sports team won a world championship for the next two decades, a phenomenon known as the “Curse of Billy Penn.” To reverse the curse, a three-foot statue of Penn was affixed to the top of the Comcast Center upon its completion as the city’s new tallest building in 2007. On October 29, 2008, the Philadelphia Phillies won the 2008 World Series, ending the “curse.”
Seven other skyscrapers now exceed the height of Penn’s statue, including One Liberty Place’s little sister, Two Liberty Place. The Comcast Center, completed in 2007, became the tallest building in Pennsylvania, 30 feet taller than One Liberty Place. In 2018, the Comcast Technology Center opened, now the tallest building in Philadelphia and the tallest in the United States outside of Manhattan and Chicago. 1441 Chestnut, currently under construction, is also slated to be taller than City Hall. The first publicly accessible vantage point higher than City Hall opened at One Liberty Observation Deck on the 57th floor of One Liberty Place in 2015. Bed Bug Exterminator Philly
Across the street from City Hall is the Masonic Temple, the headquarters of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, a legacy of the Founding Fathers and signers of the Declaration of Independence, many of whom were Freemasons; these include George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. While Philadelphia’s population declined between 1990 and 2000, Center City’s population increased by 10% over that same period.
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