Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Philadelphia Report: Day 2 - Part I

We are back home in Seattle now. After a two hour delay in Philly, we arrived at Sea-Tac Airport about 10:30 last night, and were tucked in bed by midnight.

I've done the grocery shopping and my exercise routine and spent a long time going through and editing my 400 plus photos.  I think I'm ready to resume my posting.

I'll use a few of the photos I already posted, because I like them, and fill in around them for our tour of our second day, our History Day.

The day was bright and sunny as we walked away from our hotel toward by the convention center, down Market Street to Independence National Historic Park.  
 We checked in at the Visitors Center and picked up our free tickets to the 10:00 tour of Independence Hall, which originally was the state house of Pennsylvania Colony.
 We waited on the front plaza for entry.
 Originally the court, this is where independence was signed and declared. 
 Here in the representative side, the constitution was debated and written.  George Washington led the proceedings from his chair on the platform.
 One of the original printed copies of the Declaration.
 William Penn laid out his central city around five squares.  The grand city hall is in the middle, with four squares arranged in the compass directions.  Over our three days we visited them all.  Washington Square is adjacent to Independence Park.
 During the Revolutionary War it was used as a burial ground.
 Now a monument to the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier honors these dead.
 The most famous bell in the land might not have rung to declare independence, but it did originally hang in the tower of Independence Hall. It cracked several times, and the last effort to repair it failed.  So now it stands as a symbol of freedom.

 And millions of people line up to see it in it's pavilion. ↓
 Ben Franklin's final resting place is not far away, in Christ Church Burial Ground.

 Other signers of the declaration lie here too.
Independence National Park Mall.
 We skipped the huge new Constitution Center museum in favor of staying outside and exploring.  Behind the constitution center is the northeast square, Franklin square.

 It was set up for family fun during the summer. I showed you the northwest square on Day 1.  It's actually a circle now, Logan Circle on Ben Franklin Parkway, where the Swann Fountain is located.

Now we went into the Olde City residential area, where city folk dwelled in the seventeen hundreds. 

 Ben Franklin Bridge over the Deleware River leads to New Jersey.

 Elfreth's Alley is the oldest continuously inhabited street in the US. Small, two story row houses lining the cobblestone lane are original homes to tradesmen, artisans and urbanites in the 18th century.

 I suspect that the alley was not quite so lovely back then as it is now.

 Which fire protection service did you pay for?  You'd better have somebody's mark, or your house may be left to burn down. 

 Narrow passageways lead to back courtyard gardens.

 This building is across the street from one of Betsy Ross's homes. Her husbands kept dying, so she has several.

 Betsy's final resting place is here.
 I loved the bronze cats on her well.

 This is where Ben Franklin started the first post office, basically out of his home.

 The framework behind his house marks the building where he had his shops and his printing press.
 This area is all part of the historic district, with open greens and trees to make for pleasant strolling.  Carpenter Hall, where the real, extended work of writing the constitution was done. ↓
 The Merchant's Exchange is now the headquarters for the Historic National Park.
 And across the green is the Olde City Tavern.  While this building is a reconstruction, the original on this spot was started in 1773. Here is where we had lunch sometime after 1:00.  We dined on the back porch.
 Beer samples, from left to right: Alexander Hamilton's Federalist Ale, Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale, Thomas Jefferson's 1714 Tavern Ale, and General Washington's Tavern Porter.  We shared them, along with a plate of three kinds of authentic 1774 bread.
 My lunch/dinner was chicken Madeira. Tom had smoked pork chop and kraut.

 The tavern has a wonderful display of old crockery in the window.

We still have a long way to go on History day, but that's enough for this post.  We'll call it Part I.


  1. What a marvelous collection of photos of an overwhelming amount of history. I'd forgotten that people had to subscribe and pay for fire service at one time. Those trademen's alleys are almost enough to make me want to live there. Almost.

  2. So much history in this city. Your posts make me want to visit Philadelphia!

  3. That town represents such an amazing time in our history. Just a wonderful series of shots. I get goosebumps in places like that.
    You have me curious now about Betsy's many husbands that mysteriously died. Think there is a story there that hasn't been told.


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