Philadelphia City Hall


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Philadelphia City Hall was constructed from 1871 to 1901 and was designed to be the tallest building in the world at 548 feet. By the time it was finished, it had been surpassed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower.


With 700 rooms and 22-foot supporting masonry walls, it is the largest municipal building in the United States. It houses all three branches of the city government.


The 37 foot statue of city founder William Penn tops the tower and is the largest statue on top of any building in the world.


Fun fact: The construction of One Liberty Place ended the decades-old gentlemen’s agreement to limit the height of other city buildings to William Penn’s hat brim. This was said to have cursed the Philly sports teams until another Penn statue was erected on the Comcast building just before the Phillies won the World Series in 2008.


The clock faces in the tower are 26 feet in diameter, three feet larger than London’s Big Ben. There is a small glass-enclosed observation deck just below the base of the statue which we have never been able to visit since it’s only open during business hours. We did get to the top of One Liberty on our last visit for views of City Hall and the rest of Philadephia.


Location: 1400 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Designation: National Historic Landmark

Date designation declared: 1976

Date of my visit: August 11, 2017


10 thoughts on “Philadelphia City Hall

  1. A photo of Penn’s hat was recently featured in the N.Y. Times feature of 50 photos from 50 states quiz. Though I’ve been to Philadelphia, I was not aware of this building. It’s astonishing that the city could fund the construction of such a magnificent edifice.

    Liked by 1 person

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