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Market Street (Philadelphia) facts for kids

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Market Street
Market Street Philadelphia.jpg
Market Street near the City Hall
Owner SR 2004 from Front Street to City Hall
PA 3 between 38th Street (U.S. Route 13) and 15th Street (PA 611) in Philadelphia
Maintained by PennDOT and City of Philadelphia
Length 6.5 mi (10.5 km)
Coordinates 39°57′10″N 75°09′57″W / 39.95266°N 75.16575°W / 39.95266; -75.16575
West end PA 3 in Millbourne
US 13 / PA 3 in University City
I-76 in University City
PA 611 in Center City
East end Front Street in Penn's Landing
Commissioned 1680

Market Street, originally known as High Street, is a major east–west street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is signed as Pennsylvania Route 3 between 38th Street (U.S. Route 13) and 15th Street (PA 611). A short portion of the road continues west from Cobbs Creek Parkway (63rd Street) to Delaware County.

The High Street was the familiar name of the principal street in nearly every English town at the time Philadelphia was founded. But if Philadelphia was indebted to England for the name of High Street, nearly every American town is, in turn, indebted to Philadelphia for its Market Street. Long before the city was laid out or settled, Philadelphia's founder, William Penn, had planned that markets would be held regularly on the 100-foot (30 m) wide High Street. The city's first market stalls were situated in the center of the thoroughfare starting at Front Street and proceeding west eventually to 8th Street. The stalls soon became covered and were not taken down as planned. Later, additional covered sheds appeared west of Center Square as the city expanded westward. The street began to be called Market Street around 1800. The road's new name was made official by an ordinance of 1858, coincidentally, just a year before the market sheds were ordered removed.

Market Street has been called the most historic highway in the United States because of the various historic sites along its eastern section. Many of Benjamin Franklin's activities were centered along Market Street. His house was located near the intersection of Fourth Street, and he may have performed his famous kite-flying experiment near Third and Market Streets. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in a boarding house (the Graff or Declaration House) once located at the Seventh Street intersection. The mansion of Robert Morris, financier of the American Revolution, was located near Sixth and Market Streets. This house, known as the President's House, was used by George Washington and John Adams as their residence during their terms as president. (The house was more or less on the site of the northern part of the modern-day Liberty Bell Center.) Around 1795 Theophilus Cazenove lived at Market Street. Several important finance and publishing firsts also occurred along Market Street between Second and Fourth Streets during the 18th century. Market Street is still one of the principal locations of business and commerce in Philadelphia.


James A. Byrne United States Courthouse
The James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse for Eastern Pennsylvania
Philly 30th St. Station
30th Street Station
Lit Brothers Store east end 7th Street
The former Lit Brothers Department Store, now Market Place East

Perhaps the most famous landmark is Independence National Historical Park, at Fifth and Market Streets. Home to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and National Constitution Center, the complex is the heart of Philadelphia's Old City neighborhood.

East of the intersection of Front and Market Streets lies an entrance to Penn's Landing, alongside the Delaware River.

At 2nd Street stands the historic Christ Church, once the tallest building in North America.

Philadelphia television station WTXF-TV 29 (FOX) is situated on Market Street at 4th Street. A ground-level studio with a window overlooks the street. Also located at the same intersection is CBS Radio property 94 WIP.

Adjacent to Independence Mall is the National Museum of American Jewish History, which relocated to that location in 2010 and occupies the spot once held by CBS 3 and KYW Newsradio 1060.

The Gallery at Market East shopping mall is located on Market Street between 9th and 12th Streets. Adjacent is the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Reading Terminal, the former grand railroad station for the Reading Railroad is located on the northeastern corner of 12th and Market Streets. It now serves as the grand entrance to the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The PSFS Building, generally regarded as the first International Style building in the US, stands at the intersection with 12th Street.

Philadelphia City Hall stands atop Market Street's intersection with Broad Street. Commuters can access the Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line, Subway Surface Lines, and Suburban Station through the 15th Street Headhouse (among other access points) across from City Hall.

One Liberty Place, formerly Philadelphia's tallest building, is located at the southeast corner of 17th and Market Streets. (It was surpassed in height by the Comcast Center, located a block to the north, in June 2007).

30th Street Station, a major commuter rail line terminal, is located at the intersection of 30th and Market Streets.

In the University City section of Philadelphia, Market Street crosses through the campuses of Drexel University and University City Science Center. As a result, the section of Market Street along University City is also signed "Avenue of Technology".

In popular culture

  • In the Bing Crosby song "Down the Old Ox Road," "Market Street in Philly" is mentioned.
  • Market Street, specifically the neon sign thereof and Penn's Landing, are featured in the opening titles of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • The ZOX song "The Wait, Part II" contains the line "they took down all the yellow lights at Market Street and 4th."


On June 5, 2013, a building collapsed at 22nd Street, trapping a number of people under the rubble. Six people died and fourteen others were injured.

Other names

  • Market East from Juniper Street to the west, and 6th Street (Independence Mall West) to the east. The Market East area has served as one of Philadelphia’s retail hubs since at least the early 19th century, when groups of merchants, farmers, and fishermen set up shops and stalls along Market Street, then known as High Street, west of the Independence Hall area.
  • Market West from 15th Street to 30th Street. This is the location of the 2000 Market Street skyscraper.
  • Avenue of Technology (from 34th Street to 38th Street). This section of Market Street was distinguished by "turquoise-and-black lightpost banners." The area is home to many technology-related institutions.
  • Pennsylvania Route 3 from the Philadelphia City Hall at 15th Street to 38th Street

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