Notable Public Works

The public buildings of Philadelphia were monuments to the humanitarianism and the enlightened spirit of the Quakers. At the left in the engraved view above is the House of Employment and Almshouse—the so-called Bettering House—built and largely supported by private contributions. It was considered “one of the principal Ornaments” of Philadelphia when it was completed in the fall of 1767. 

Penn’s City: American Athens

From wilderness to foremost city of the colonies, and then to cosmopolitan capital of the Republic—this was Philadelphia’s first century

Until he journeyed to Philadelphia in 1774 to attend the meetings of the First Continental Congress, John Adams had never been out of his native New England. He had even been thinking of quietly retiring to his Braintree farm when the explosive atmosphere in and about Boston (watchful redcoats camped on the Common that summer) thrust him from his own beleaguered part of the world into the main stream of large affairs—and into the most cosmopolitan, progressive, and affluent society in colonial America.