The Three Ages of Philadelphia

by Kneeland A. Godfrey, Jr., (M.ASCE), Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1976, Vol. 46, Issue 7, Pg. 44-56

Document Type: Feature article


Philadelphia was founded in 1682 when a shipload of 70 arrived with William Penn from England. Origins of this all-religious colony are described. Though a half-century younger than New York and Boston, Philadelphia managed to pass them in population within 75 years. Reasons why are told. In the city's second age, from say 1750 through 1900, the city and region were the birthplace of many notable civil engineering firsts, and of the 1876 Centennial Exposition, which are described. Finally, this roundup discusses notable current efforts to maintain and expand center-city Philadelphia as a financially healthy downtown, which like many old cities is having serious aging pains. Four current projects are featured: (1)Commuter train subway; (2)downtown shopping center; (3)bus-pedestrian mall; and (4)riverfront freeway.

Subject Headings: Shopping centers | Urban areas | Urban and regional development | Subways | Project management | Pesticides | Highways and roads | Philadelphia | Pennsylvania | United States

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