|North Portal façade|
|One of the four corners of the Earth capitals|
My volunteer, Mike, moved to Philadelphia from Trenton, NJ, after retirement. Loving the city, he decided to find a meaningful way to volunteer during the day and is a well-versed docent. I’ll admit the facts and figures that he shared were overwhelming, so I’ll share with you those that stuck with me.
|The original chandelier in the Mayor's Reception Room.|
- Philadelphia City Hall is the nation’s largest municipal building (548 feet tall).
- The clock faces are larger than Westminster’s Clock Tower.
- Its architectural style is French Second Empire.
- There are over 250 relief and freestanding sculptures, all created by Alexander Milne Calder, including William Penn at the top.
- The four corners of the world is a dominant theme of the building; there are four pediments representing such through the four races of Philadelphia’s inhabitants of the city: African, Asian, European and Native American and the column capitals supporting the tower echo this motif.
|Supreme Court Chamber|
- The William Penn statue is the tallest atop any building in the world.
- Construction of City Hall started 1871 and lasted thirty years; by its completion in 1901, the style wasn’t en vogue anymore, and the citizens of Philadelphia disliked it and wanted to raze it.
- The clocks were visible from a great distance and were so accurate that people used the clocks to set their watches and clocks; each evening at 8:57 pm, the clock tower light were turned off to give people three minutes to set their watches before the lights went on again at 9:00pm.
- The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is a traveling court – meaning it meets in additional cities outside of the Capital; for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the Court meets in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
- The only word incorporated into the façade of the building is Justice, above the Moses Keystone of the South Portal entrance.
|Looking up at William Penn from the observation deck|
After the tour, I headed to nearby Reading Terminal and got some lunch. My day in the city – my own city – was a success. I recommend to anyone to go out and be a tourist in your own town.
|The view South on Broad Street.|