Photo Essay #9: Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall, completed in 1901, would not be out of place in Paris. Built in the Second Empire style, the 548' (167m) structure was designed to be the tallest building in the world--a feat never achieved, since the Eiffel Tower was completed before the city hall was finished--although for a period it was the world's tallest habitable building.

As seen from Broad Street South

That little statue of William Penn you see at the top is actually 37' (11.3m) tall and weighs 27 tons! Turns out that this is the largest statue atop any building in the world, even today.

There are a number of tall glass buildings to the west of city hall; in the morning, they reflect the rising sun spectacularly against the west side of the building which would otherwise remain obscured in the shadows.

Located at 1 Penn Square, which is actually the intersection of Market and Broad streets, the City Hall divides Philadelphia into North and South, East and West. Pedestrians can walk though portals on each side of the building to get to a courtyard in the centre, where musicians and buskers often play.