Getting up close to William Penn in Philly

Real Estate Agent with Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate

City Hall


Yes, this morning we went up 458 feet to the viewing deck under the statue of William Penn at the top of Philadelphia City Hall, the largest municipal building in this country. The most stomach curdling part was the ride up in the elevator from the 7th floor. The door is glass, so you can see yourself hurtling skyward and passing the inside of the giant clock face which looks out over the city. I had only done this once before, and the inside of the clock still makes an impression. (photo Wikipedia)



But the biggest thrill is looking over the City of Brotherly Love from the building which was the tallest in the City until 1987 (when One Liberty Place, then Two Liberty Place were built-far right below).  Not only that, but the glass skylights gave us a view of the statue of William Penn by Alexander Milne Calder on top of the building


begun in 1871. There had been much controversy at the time when it replaced a park and water pumping station and blocked through access on both Market and Broad Streets. There is now a traffic clogged circle around this enormous building if you wish to continue on either one of these main thorofares--which you will want to do unless you are on foot as we were and passed through the courtyard in the center of the building, giving full pedestrian access.


This time of year, they have an ice rink in Dilworth Plaza on the South front, and there is a StrudelChristmas Market here and a short distance away in Love Park (home of the Love statue, which seems to be in hiding).  The good news for me was that they had a booth selling my all time favorite, strudel.  I brought home some apricot and some cherry pastries on the train carrying me back to Wilmington. Can't wait to try it!!


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  1. Roy Kelley 12/23/2018 03:00 PM
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Bob Ieradi
BHHS Fox & Roach, Mount Laurel, NJ - Mount Laurel Township, NJ


Sounds like you had a great time in the city. I have always admired the William Penn Building when in the city. That building was the tallest in the world from 1894-1908

Dec 18, 2018 03:21 PM #1
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Carolyn, although the history would be fascinating, could NOT do the glass elevator.

Dec 19, 2018 06:44 AM #2
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Carolyn - My Mother always took me to visit William Penn . Have not been there since I was a child . We would sit and watch trials she loved that .  Did you get a chance to go to Reading Terminal Market ?

Dec 22, 2018 12:09 PM #3
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing this experience. 

We should include this in our travel plans.

Dec 23, 2018 07:53 AM #4
Lauren Williams, CPO
Casual Uncluttering LLC - Woodinville, WA
Professional Organizer: Puget Sound homes

Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA I went to Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia is still one of my favorite cities, and I had NO idea this is a "thing." My family and I are hoping to revisit this summer: its' now on the wish list, especially for the clock! Thank you for teaching me something new about my beloved home-away-from-home.

Dec 23, 2018 07:55 PM #5
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Carolyn.  I've been lucky enough to have viewed the city from this tower as well.  It's a wonderful city.

Dec 24, 2018 05:29 AM #6
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Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA

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