Philadelphia: Midtown Village

Philadelphia’s Midtown Village is the area between the Central Business District and the Old Town.  It’s contains a wide variety of buildings covering many centuries and architectural styles.

Walking through Midtown Village, I started to learn just how important this city was to the United States. Pennsylvania Hospital was the first hospital in the country, founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Thomas Bond. The original building still stands.

Pennsylvania Hospital. philadelphia midtown village

Pennsylvania Hospital. philadelphia midtown village

The main hospital building and the surrounding gardens are beautiful, and you really get a feel for what this part of the city must have been like back in the days of the founding fathers.

Pennsylvania Hospital. philadelphia midtown village

Pennsylvania Hospital. philadelphia midtown village

Pennsylvania Hospital. philadelphia midtown village

When Napoleon Bonaparte lost the Napoleonic Wars, his brother Joseph fled to the United States. The house that he lived in while in Philadelphia still stands.  It’s quite fascinating to read about how many relatives of famous European historical figures ended up in the USA over the years.

Bonaparte House. philadelphia midtown village

Walnut Theatre. philadelphia midtown village

“Jewelers’ Row” is the oldest diamond district in the United States, and is home to over 300 retailers, wholesalers and craftsmen.  Many of the businesses are independent family run operations, that have been trading for several generations.

philadelphia midtown village

philadelphia midtown village

A few years back, the city council introduced a scheme whereby local artists would be invited to paint massive murals that represented what Philadelphia meant to them, on many of the blank concrete walls around the city. Some are in obvious places, others are hidden – for example behind buildings in vacant lots.

I couldn’t tell if this was actually a fallout shelter or if it was some kind of artistic statement.  The  door certainly looked the business.

Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.


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