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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.