Philadelphia Neighborhood - Fishtown
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                       William Penn Statue

william penn statue

William Penn Statue
at City Hall courtyard, ca.1893

William Penn Statue atop of City Hall

   Philadelphia City Hall is at the crossing of Broad and 
   Market Streets that represents the center of the 
   original city layout by the Founder.
   Work on the City Hall started in 1871 and was 
   completed in 1901.
   The building is topped by William Penn Statue that 
   is 37 feet high and weighs 27 tons.
   The bronze William Penn statue is made out of 14 
   separate pieces with spectacular details.
   The Founder bears the Charter of Pennsylvania that 
   features readable text crafted on it. Tree stump 
   represents the very first tree cut down from his 
   "Greene Country Towne."


  Alexander Milne Calder (father of Alexander
  Stirling Calder, designer of Swann Fountain in Logan 
  Square) created William Penn statue sculpture.


Plaster model was finished by Calder in 1888. It took almost 2 years to cast the bronze figure.
The cast statue was displayed for a year in the City Hall courtyard. In November 1894 was lifted piece by piece to the top and permanently reassembled.
Other bronze statues at the City Hall tower corners depict Native American Indians and first settlers and are 26 feet tall.
William Penn Statue faces northeast, toward Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown a place of Penn’s Treaty.


william penn statue

William Penn Statue
at Pennsylvania Hospital

William Penn Statue at Pennsylvania Hospital

   Pennsylvania Hospital is America’s first hospital 
   dating  back to 1751. William Penn Statue presides 
   over the gracious garden setting of the Pine Building. 
   Tale has it that William Penn's ghost leaves the actual 
   sculpture and strolls the premise of the Hospital at night 

   William Penn statue was donated to the Pennsylvania 
   Hospital in 1804 by Founders grandson.

   From the Letter of Hospital management to John Penn, 
   dated 26 November, 1804 :  
“…The Managers of the  Pennsylvania Hospital have        
   received the statue of William Penn by ship “Pigon”  
   Capt. Collet from London.
   … This ornament so interesting and appropriate to the 
   Building which bears the venerable name of William 
   Penn is highly esteemed not only for its fine execution but as a present of one of his immediate descendants…”

During the storm of 1850 the William Penn Statue was blown over and damaged. One foot was deteriorating and required a high heel and sole to restore it to its original state.

In June 29, 1849, Daniel B. Smith made a presentation of the statue’s history.
By chance he discovered a letter from Benjamin Franklin written when he made a visit to Lord Le Despencer in 1775.
In this letter Franklin states that upon seeing the William Penn Statue in London, he was very impressed and expressed a desire for a duplicate to be placed on the Philadelphia’s State House grounds.  
Lord Le Despencer’s successor sold the statue as scrap metal. Subsequently William Penn Statue found its way to a antique shop, where John Penn noticed and acquirer it.

william penn statue

William Penn Statue in
Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown
William Penn Statue in Penn Treaty Park.   

   The granite statue was dedicated April 24th, 1982.
   It was sculpted from eight ton rock by Frank C. 
   Gaylord.  (He was the creative artist behind the Korean 
   War Memorial in Washington, DC). The height of the 
   figure is 6’6”.

   William Penn statue was carried out by the Daughters of 
   the American Colonist that wished to present it to the 
   city of Philadelphia on 300th anniversary.  
   At first Fairmount Park Commission declined the 
   offered gift. With the help of Elaine Peden “the William 
   Penn Lady” and a strong support from Fishtown civic 
   community, finally William Penn statue was placed in 
   Penn Treaty Park.
   The dedication of the statue was a part of the 300th 
   anniversary of Pennsylvania celebration.


william penn statue

William Penn Statue
in Pennsbury Manor

William Penn Statue in Pennsbury Manor

   Pennsbury Manor was William Penn country estate 
   during his 2nd stay Pennsylvania. 
   At present it is a recreation of his estate on 42 acres 
   along the Delaware River.

   Inscription on base of the William Penn Statue:

   To celebrate the 300th anniversary of Pennsylvania 
   founded by William Penn and presented to the citizens 
   of the Commonwealth through the generosity of the 
   Grundy Foundation - by the Welcome Society of the 
   Pennsylvania  - October 1982

william penn statue

William Penn Statue
in Welcome Park

William Penn Statue in Welcome Park

   Philadelphia’s Welcome Park is a large replica of the 
   city’s map as designed by the Founder.
   “Welcome”  comes from the name of the ship William 
   Penn arrived  in Philadelphia in 1682.  

   A mini model copy of the City Hall William Penn Statue 
   is placed on a marble pedestal in the center of the park.

   The Welcome Park was established in 1982 as a 
   celebration of the 300th anniversary of William Penn 
   landing in Pennsylvania, in 1682. Welcome Park is 
   located on 2nd Street and Sansom Walkway.

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