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Old City, Philadelphia facts for kids

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Old City Historic District
Philly Street Commons.jpg
A view of Quince Street, a narrow cobblestone road as seen from Locust Street. While not inside the bounds of Old City (it is within the Washington Square West neighborhood to the southwest) this view is representative of many of the small side streets in the area.
Location Old city area including parts of Washington Square East Development Area and Franklin Square East Development Area, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Area 75 acres (30 ha)
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Greek Revival, Italianate
NRHP reference No. 72000093
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 5, 1972
A luncheon in Girard Fountain Park after the Oct. 5, 2007, dedication of Keys To Community, a nine-foot bronze bust of Benjamin Franklin by sculptor James Peniston.

Old City is a neighborhood in Center City, Philadelphia, in the area near the Delaware River where William Penn and the Quakers first settled. To tourists, it is best known as the site of Independence Hall and its encompassing Independence National Historical Park, Elfreth's Alley, Carpenters' Hall, the Betsy Ross House, and many of Philadelphia's other historic sites.

The Old City District occupies several blocks between Front and Sixth Streets, bounded by Vine Street to the north and Walnut Street to the south. The Philadelphia Almanac and Citizens' Manual gives a larger set of boundaries to the Old City area, defined as the area within Spring Garden Street, 4th Street, the Delaware River, and Walnut Street. The Old City Redevelopment Area is bound by Vine Street, the Delaware River, Lombard Street and 7th Street.

The Old City Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. In 2003, it was added to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.

Old City is home to the oldest continually inhabited street in America, Elfreth's Alley, Home to more than 3,000 people since 1702, the street today holds 32 houses built between 1728 and 1836.

Places of note


Many foreign governments have consulates in Old City, including Panama (124 Chestnut Street), Italy (1026 Public Ledger Building at 150 South Independence Mall West), and Mexico (111 South Independence Mall East). The Dominican Republic closed its consulate in the Lafayette Building at 437 Chestnut Street on November 7, 2005.

Historic congregations in Old City

In film

  • In National Treasure (2004), Nicholas Cage's character runs across the roof of Independence Hall.
  • In Shooter (2007), Mark Wahlberg's character is set-up for the shooting of the Ethiopian archbishop at Independence Mall.
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