March 4, 2016

Acting like a tourist...


Sometimes you just don't appreciate what is right under your nose.  Or in this case, ABOVE my nose. Philadelphia City Hall.  Altho City Hall, with Philly's omnipresent William Penn sitting atop, is visible pretty much anywhere in the city (as long as you look UP)...I've never really "seen" it. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure the LAST time I was in City Hall was during one of the elementary school field trips that EVERY Philly area school has on their calendar.  But even then, I think we just got on the elevator and headed straight up to the top to the observation deck right which is under Billy's feet. Which was just what some of those elementary school boys couldn't wait to do, so they could spit off the open observation walk to see if it would reach the pedestrians below. (Yep they did that on our Junior High trip to the Empire State Building too.  Obviously I graduated with equal opportunity spitters).  Regardless, the observation deck gives quite the impressive view of Philly if you stop spitting long enough to take a gander.


"William Penn's City"
Philadelphia City Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



"Reflections of City Hall"
Philadelphia City Hall


A couple weeks ago I decided to join a local photography group on an outing to Philadelphia City Hall.  Not only would I get to go back up to Billy Penn BUT...it also included a 2-hour tour of the grounds and interior.  I was going to be a tourist in my own city.  FYI, no spitting allowed.

First we wandered around the perimeter of City Hall...all things I had seen a gazillion times before.











Then we moved through the arches and corridors, into the City Hall courtyard..all things I had seen a HALF gazillion times before.












Finally we ventured indoors...of which I have no prior recollection.  Altho I MUST have walked these halls in order to get up to Billy Penn, so I will claim early onset elementary school memory loss.  Philadelphia City Hall.  The largest municipal building in the United States. 700 rooms, 14.5 acres of floor space and chockful of architectural treasures both inside and out. Construction began in 1871, with the goal to be the tallest building in the world. However, in the 30 years it took to build City Hall it was surpassed by the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower to claim the title.








"Donald Trump?"
Philadelphia City Hall









Philadelphia City Hall might not be the world's tallest building but, it IS the world's largest masonry building.  Made entirely of granite and brick with marble facing.  No steel (you need to go to Pittsburgh for all the steel).  In the 1950's Philadelphia city politicians decided they wanted a newer city hall in a different location.  Yep, politicians made no sense back then too.  However, because of the building's masonry construction, it couldn't be demolished via implosion.  It needed to be dismantled piece by exquisite piece, which would have bankrupted the city.  The building was saved. Probably the LAST time any political decision was influenced by fiscal responsibility. 


"George Washington Would Like to Speak"
Philadelphia City Hall



"Round and Round"
Philadelphia City Hall



"City Halls"
Philadelphia City Hall



"Take a Seat"
Philadelphia City Hall







"Police Evidence Room"
Philadelphia City Hall
(The Philadelphia Police and Prison have since been relocated)


After a couple of hours it was time to venture to the top of Billy Penn via stairs and a 4-person elevator.  Now THIS I remembered...sort of.  


"This Way Up"
Philadelphia City Hall





"Billy Penn's Knickers"
Philadelphia City Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



"On a Clear Day"
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


William Penn in bronze.  37 feet tall. Perched atop the tallest structure in Philly til 1987.  You truly have no idea how large of an area Philadelphia spans until you see it from Billy's perspective.  Yeah, I remember this except for one thing...the observation deck is now enclosed by Plexiglas thwarting all adolescent spitting efforts.  

Sometimes you just don't realize or appreciate what treasures are in your backyard.  UNTIL you become a hometown tourist.






Here's where I "link up" today

(Join me on Tuesdays for Song-ography.  Click on photo for full link-up description)

20 comments:

  1. These are gorgeous! I love playing tourist in my own city!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great architectural series Kathy ! I always enjoy your view through the lens

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a great idea, to play tourist in your own city. I love your photos of the beautiful City Hall - thanks for taking us on a tour! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can't get enough of all the precious details you captured with your camera. I remember being in awe the first time I saw the Philly's City Hall. Unfortunately, I wasn't traveling with the most adventurous people, so, I was not able to explore as I wanted. There will come a day when I will be able to visit Philly in a proper way (my mom lives nearby, I have the perfect excuse to visit).

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love all the dtails you have captured from the magnificent buildings. Glorious reflection shots. Have a wonderful weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kath, What gorgeous photos. I do love the Black and White, too! I love Philly and definitely need to spend more time there!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Amazing architecture! I love the view of Philly, as well. My sister-in-law and her family live in Fort Washington, so we've done a little visiting in your city over the years. Love this post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You've captured such gorgeous details. I don't know Philadelphia at all but you've presented it beautifully. You should link this to a new linky all about travel at home over on Ersatz Expat's blog. I found you through #MySundayPhoto

    ReplyDelete
  9. Philadelphia looks full of interest and impressive buildings #MySundayPhoto

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the details that you have captured. Pretty and the amazing design! #mysundayphoto

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amazing photos! The composition and the colors are fantastic- I especially love the stairwell picture. It made me a little dizzy just looking at it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. How good for us that you went on a tour and took all this wonderful pictures! Amazing building , love all the little details.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Really beautiful details you've captured in these photos. I think I should get round to taking my camera to Oxford town hall sometime for photos

    ReplyDelete
  14. As a born-in-Philadelphia-ian I'm required to love this :D

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow! I love your photos! They are so beautiful! Never been to Philadelphia before - but after seeing this - it is now on my to-go list! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. WOW! IT looks amazing there. Great photos!

    I would love for you to link up to #SilentSunday too http://mummyconstant.com/silentsunday-6-march-2016/ :-)

    x

    ReplyDelete
  17. Now I get it... I was wondering what all those amazing pictures were all about! Thanks for the tour!

    ReplyDelete