Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 517

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it may be said that Philadelphia has a circum-
ference of nearly 9 miles, stretching about 4g
miles along the shore of the Delaware. The
ground on which the city is built rises gradually,
from each of the rivers, to an elevation of 64 feet
above high-water mark. It is divided nearly in
the centre by Market Street, 100 feet broad, run-
ning E. and W. from river to river, and trans-
versely by Broad Street, 130 feet in width, which
crosses Market Street at right angles, a little W.
of the middle. Front Streets, on both of the
rivers, are 60 feet wide; Arch Street, running
parallel with Market on the N., is 66 feet wide;
and the other principal streets generally are 50
feet wide. The streets running from river to
river, in the city proper, were originally 9 in
number; to all of which, except Market Street,
were given the names of the trees of the forest.
Thus on the S. of Market are Chestnut, Walnut,
Spruce, Pine, and Cedar; and on the N., Mul-
berry, Sassafras, and Vine. In one or two in-
stances these names have given place, in popu-
lar usage, to others more convenient, as Mulber-
ry to Arch, and Sassafras to Race : while the
names of other trees have been given to some of
the secondary streets, running parallel with these,
by which the original sections have been sub-
divided. The memory of the stranger is often
much assisted in finding the localities in Phila-
delphia by the popular rhyme into which these
names so naturally fall, reading them each way
from the central avenue: —

Chestnut, Walnut, Spruce, and Pine,

Mulberry, Cherry, Race, and Vine.

The great streets at right angles with these are
numbered First, Second, Third, &c., inward from
their respective rivers, towards Broad Street,
which is the central avenue running N. and S.
Those on the Schuylkill side are distinguished
from the others by prefixing the name of that
river; and the sections on each side of Market
Stfleet, throughout, by the addition of North or
South. So that, out of the indefiniteness and
uncertainty at first resulting from such an entire
uniformhy of plan, there soon arises a beautiful
simplicity in the system, by which the stranger
learns to guide his steps.

The gradual inclination of the ground, each
way, towards the rivers, favors the most perfect
drainage of the city, which is effected by com-
mon sewers or arched culverts constructed under
most of the principal streets. From the same
cause, also, the streets are easily washed super-
ficially by rains, and by the abundant supply of
water from the hose attached to the water pipes.
Philadelphia is consequently one of the cleanest
cities in the world.

The blocks of stores and houses throughout
the city are chiefly of brick, in a plain and
uniform style of architecture ; characterized by
order and neatness rather than by variety and
by showy decorations. Besides brick, a beautiful
species of white marble is used in building, of
which the steps and basements of the dwellings
are, to a considerable extent, constructed, con-
trasting finely writh the color of the walls. The
entire exterior of some of the public edifices is
faced with this fine material; which is quarried
in the neighboring counties of Montgomery and
Chester, and has contributed much to ornament
the city.

Qf the public buildings, the first to be men-
tioned, on account of its venerable antiquity and
interesting historical associations, is Independence
Hall, in which the Declaration of Independence
was framed and signed by that venerable body
of patriots, whom William Pitt, in the British
Parliament, pronounced to be “the most dis-
tinguished for wisdom of any body of men of
whom he had read in ancient or modern times.''
This building, formerly the State House, fronts
upon Chestnut Street, having Independence
Square in the rear. From the steps of the build-
ing descending into this spacious area, the Decla-
ration was first promulgated to the assembled
people, called together by the joyous tones of
the old bell in the cupola, which, as if prophetic
of its future use, had been inscribed, when it was
cast, 20 years before, with the text in Leviticus,
xxv. 10 —
Proclaim liberty throughout this land, to
all the inhabitants thereof.
The foundations of the
main building were laid in 1729, and it was com-
pleted in 1733. The wings, which now extend
on each side to Fifth and Sixth Streets, are of
more modern construction. The hall or chamber
in which the Declaration was signed is on the
first floor in the east end of the old building.
Although it has been refitted within since that
day, it has been carefully preserved nearly in the
same style of decoration with which it was ori-
ginally finished. The present steeple, which was
erected in 1828, to replace the old one, which
had, on account of its decay, been taken down
many years before, was made to correspond as
nearly as possible with the original structure.
The old bell, too, is carefully preserved in the
cupola as an interesting relic. There is in Inde-
pendence Hall a statue of Washington, said to be
an excellent likeness. It was sculptured in wood
by Rush. This venerable hall shares, with Faneuil
Hall in Boston, the honor of having witnessed
those momentous deliberations which issued in
the establishment of American liberty and inde-

One of the finest buildings in Philadelphia is
the Custom House, on Chestnut, between Fourth
and Fifth Streets, built originally for the United
States Bank. It is of the Grecian Doric order,
after the pattern of the Parthenon at Athens,
with the omission of the colonnades upon the sides
Its portico has 8 marble columns 4£ feet in diame-
ter. The width of the edifice is 87 feet, and its
depth 161 feet. The room in the centre, for the
transaction of business, is 81 feet long by 48 wide,
richly decorated with beautiful Ionic columns
This building was commenced in 1819, and com
pleted in 1824, at a cost of about $500,000.

Some of the banks in Philadelphia are provided
with costly and beautiful edifices. The Pennsyl-
vania Bank is of white marble, a fine specimen of
Grecian architecture, having a portico on each
front, with 6 Ionic columns. It stands in an en-
closure, surrounded by an iron railing, and orna-
mented with plants and shrubbery. The Girard
Bank, formerly the Old United States Bank, has
a marble front, adorned with a portico of 6
Corinthian columns. The Bank of North Amer-
ica, originally incorporated by Congress in 1781,
and the first institution of its kind in the United
States, has erected a new banking house on
Chestnut Street, above Third, which is one of the
most chaste and elegant buildings in the country.
The Merchants' Exchange, situated in the trian-
gular space between Dock, Walnut, and Third
Streets, is a beautiful structure of white marble. A
semicircular portico on the eastern front, support-

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