Thursday, July 11, 2013

Philadelphia - The City of Brotherly (and Sisterly) Love

We stayed in New Jersey which was just a short drive from downtown Philadelphia so we could visit with our niece, Sarah, her husband Russ, and their young son, Owen.   While there we toured the Eastern Pennsylvania State Prison, visited the Love Statue in Philly, and had dinner at Sarah and Russ's place in Jersey.  Had a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures but something went wrong while loading them so we only have these few.  Nuts! 

Eastern Pennsylvania State Prison.  It was a pretty awful place but was the home of Al Capone for a period of time and where Willie Sutton and 11 other men escaped through a tunnel they built.  The intent was to keep most of the prisoners in isolation so they would repent.  By the time Al Capone was there it was very overcrowded but Capone got special treatment.  His cell was larger and he had fancy furniture and tables and lamps and remained very friendly with the guards.

This is the front of the tunnel that was dug from a cell by one of the inmates.  He was able to hide it from the guards for over a year until they broke out.  The tunnel went underground, across the prison yard, under the prison wall and across the street to freedom.  The escapees were quickly recaptured.  This prison wasn't closed until the 1970's.

Our nephew, Owen.

One year old and what a cutie!

While in New Jersey, we took the pups to the Fort Mott State Park for some exercise.  Another rainy day but we still had a good time.

Lee standing in one of the bunkers.
Trying to stay dry........

The bunkers were put in place to protect the entrance to the Delaware River during the Spanish American War.

Every morning the Captain and I sat outside and enjoyed a cup of coffee regardless of the weather :)
Heading from New Jersey to Philadelphia we spotted one of our neighbors out for exercise.  This part of New Jersey is much more rural than we thought it would be. 

Carpenter Hall where delegates from the First Continental Congress met in 1774 to resolve grievances with Great Britain.  Built between 1770 and 1774 to showcase skilled craftsmen, this original building is still owned and operated by the Carpenter Company.

Independence Hall was built between 1732 and 1756 as the State House of the Colony of Pennsylvania.  Two great documents took shape here.  The Declaration of Independence adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, set forth the founding principles of the new nation, and eleven years later, in 1787, these principles were embodied in the United States Constitution. 

Within the same square is Philosophical Hall, home of the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learning society in America.  Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, the society pursued "useful knowledge". The American Philosophical Society still owns and operates the building.

This is called the Supreme Court Room. The Continental Congress began to meet here in its second session in 1775 and today it is known as the meeting place for the development of our new nation. 

The Assembly Room within Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Commodore John Barry considered the father of the US Navy.  Not sure how the US Naval Academy compares him with John Paul Jones. 

Viewing the Liberty Bell.  It weighs 2,000 pounds but is surprisingly fragile because the unstable mix of metals made it brittle.  It was originally called the State House bell and was used to call members of the state assembly, like Benjamin Franklin, to meetings, to announce noteworthy events, and to protest "Parliamentary oppression" as the American Revolution neared. 
The bell first cracked in 1752 and was recast twice by local craftsmen.  After years of service, it again cracked and was repaired by drilling the crack wider and refilling it.  This failed and in 1846 the bell was retired from active use.  After American independence was secured, the bell fell into relative obscurity for some years.  In the 1830's, the bell was adopted as a symbol by abolitionists who dubbed it the Liberty Bell.

Taking a carriage ride through historic Philadelphia.  The driver was a history teacher full of information.

Our tour guide and his faithful companion, Butter.

Some of the beautiful and historic buildings in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is very proud of all its 'green zones'.

This is the oldest fire insurance company in America.  Founded in 1752 by Benjamin Franklin and his friends.

Old St Mary's Church.

Philip Syng Physick lived in this house from 1815-1837.  He is considered the Father of American Surgery.

Beautiful old streets.

While we were visiting, a local gas station company called WAWA was giving out free hoagies in one of the squares.  It really drew the crowds.

The library of the American Philosophical Society........

.....with a statue of Ben Franklin in the center.

Quaker lawyer John Todd lived here with his wife, Dolley.  He died of the yellow fever in 1793 and his wife remarried James Madison and became the First Lady to the 4th president of the United States.

An 18th century garden incorporating features of geometric flower beds popular at that time.

For lunch we decided to eat at the City Tavern established 1773.

They served you three different types of breads that were popular back in the 18th century including sweet potato and pecan biscuits which were Thomas Jefferson's favorite.

And the water goblets were pewter.  Really kept the water cold.

The Corn Exchange National Bank.

This street is called Bankers Row.

People were walking around in period costumes.

Christ Church

Founded in 1695, George Washington, Betsy Ross, and Benjamin Franklin all worshipped here.

The building is a testament to the success of William Penn's "Holy Experiment".  His Charter of Privileges allowed all denominations freedom of worship, even the Church of England.

Another stop was the Fireman's Hall and Museum in Philadelphia.

A 1903 Cannon Wagon designed to fight fires in the new 'skyscrapers' that were being built in the city.  This model had a high pressure water system. 

An 1854 hand drawn hose cart. 

A 1926 American La France

Isn't this a beauty!  An 1858 steam fire engine, it is the oldest steam engine in America.  It was nicknamed the "Pioneer" because it was considered the cutting edge of technology.
A stained glass window inside the Fireman's Hall honoring those firemen who died protecting others.

A Gooseneck Pumper, circa 1815.

Everyone got in on the act.

We also stopped at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The museum is in multiple buildings and this was just one of them.  It is a huge place.

'Rocky Balboa' stands in a garden near the front. 

The steps that Rocky mastered.

Do you hear a familiar theme?

Da da dah.......da da daaahhhhhh.........

Eat your heart out, Rocky, the Captain has arrived !!!!!
Inside the museum there were so many rooms of artwork that you could become easily lost.  Here are just a few of the things we saw.

Saddle used by a knight.

An impressive fountain from a 12th century abbey in France. 

Late 10th and 11th century granite statues from India.
A 5th century statue from India.
A complete drawing room from a home in London, circa 1761.  Gold inlay was used in the painting.
An example of a 1752 Pennsylvania German kitchen.

Modern artwork that left us confused.

A Van Gogh.

A  Monet.
The grounds outside the Museum of Art were very beautiful and had gardens with sculptures.

Not sure about this one but kids were allowed to sit on it.

Social Consciousness by Jacob Epstein

And finally, the last place I wanted to stop before we left the great city of Philadelphia.  Another original that is still drawing visitors from all over.

Geno's - Home of the original Philly's cheese steak.

No inside dining so you had to be quick if you wanted a table. 

Right in the middle of a neighborhood, this place is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and does a booming business.

Michele D. - this is for you !!!!!

Yum mm - It was very good.

We had a wonderful time in Philadelphia but still didn't have time to see all the sights.  Another place the Captain and I would like to revisit.  But Gettysburg awaits us so on we move.  Peace!

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