Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an iconically historic city with a diverse culture and a wealth of historic relevancy. In 1682 Willam Penn founded Philadelphia as the capital of what was then the Pennsylvania Colony. Over a period of 330+ years, this historic colony has steadily evolved into a bustling metropolis of art and architecture, with a population of over 1.5 million residents. Philadelphia’s Urban Renaissance has recently eclipsed into a trend which has preserved the city’s historic culture while adding contemporary artistic influences to its ever-evolving and colorful landscape.
It is no wonder that a city celebrated for its historical prominence – comfort cuisine the likes of cheesesteaks and hoagies, and passionately loyal sports fans – would be dubbed “The City of Brotherly Love” or “The City of Friendship.” After visiting, tourists often feel united in shared patriotism and goodwill as they explore the famous art, architecture, and cultural vibe of this iconic city.
History buffs and patriotic Americans love perusing the city’s many loyal offerings, and music fans immerse themselves in the city’s soulful and melodic story. The website Visit Philadelphia cites that the city is largely regarded as the “birthplace of American democracy,” and numerous other websites declare that Philadelphia is internationally renowned for its impact on all genres of music.
Visitors to Philadelphia tour the nation’s birthplace by exploring a number of historic hallmarks including The Liberty Bell Center, which honors America’s symbol of independence, the Liberty Bell. Other “Philly” landmarks include Independence Hall – birthplace of the Constitution, Valley Forge National Historic Park – a historic landmark of the Revolutionary War, and the Betsy Ross House – birthplace of the American flag. A number of museums including the National Constitution Center and Independence Seaport Museum also offer a fascinating visit into the storied history of the United States of America.
The streets of Philadelphia are also rich with history and boast many opportunities to grow in patriotism. Much of the 18th century architecture and influence has been preserved while the city has simultaneously juxtaposed the skyline with 21st century skyscrapers and contemporary renovations. The city’s “urban renaissance” has included $5 billion worth of construction renovation of downtown office buildings and lofts. The city has also taken diligent care to repurpose undeveloped land into leisurely attractions.
One of the city’s most recent renovations resulted in a popular community hang out, Dilworth Park. This cultural space offers shaded solace during hot months and a winter wonderland during cold months, when it transforms into an outdoor ice-skating rink. The city has continued an expansion of its outdoor spaces by creating a bike-share program and adding three miles of trails to an already vast 220-mile citywide system.
Visitors of the city’s south streets won’t want to miss Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, a mosaicked public artwork exhibit conceptualized and created by famous muralist Isaiah Zagar. Zagar’s original intent was to beautify Philadelphia’s south street neighborhood. The artist started in the 60’s and worked throughout the 90’s, ultimately culminating in a non-profit organization known as Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. The organization is committed to the preservation of Zagar’s folk inspired murals and public artwork which has beautified the Philadelphia community and serves as a compelling artistic space for tourists and visitors to appreciate.
Philadelphia is an inspirational community with a number of creative outlets for burgeoning artists. The city’s Mural Arts program began in 1984 with combined goals to provide a positive outlet for graffiti artists and to eradicate vandalism. The program has extended to over 3,600 murals, many of which have received international acclaim.
Pope Francis recently paid a highly anticipated visit to The City of Brotherly Love, and during his time here, he blessed and signed a mural created by the Mural Arts Program and the World Meeting of Families. The mural was designed to honor this religious leader of Christianity’s inaugural visit to Philadelphia and the United States. The mural is a collaboration of more than 2,700 people hailing from over 100 countries, and broke the 2014 Guinness World Record title for Most Contributions to a Painting by Numbers. The world famous mural will complete a collection of artwork adorning Philadelphia’s Saint Malachy School.