Art and Controversy in Philadelphia

    Sarah miduski
    27 Sep 2017
    Clock 30min      Length1mi
    1 rating

    The Benjamin Franklin Parkway

    Pay wave

    Continue straight.

    While we walk, I’ll give you a little background on The Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

    Its one of the United States’ earliest examples of urban renewal. It begins at Philadelphia’s City Hall, and ends at The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

    It was originally part of a movement called City Beautiful.

    At the time of The Parkway’s inception, cities were trying to move away from their previously bleak, gritty, industrial, vibes.

    The City Beautiful movement set out to create places where grand architecture, art, and nature converged.

    The use of neoclassical architecture was employed as a tool to stir citizens’ hearts to become more virtuous and civic minded.

    Unfortunately, not much thought was given to the thousands of individuals who were displaced when many of the residential areas were demolished to make way for the new, elaborately designed Parkway.

    Many gave the architects' Parkway plans mixed reviews because some found the extravagant buildings garish, and accused the City Beautiful movement of being an “architecture cult.”

    The Benjamin Franklin Parkway was designed to resemble the Champs-Elysee, to give the citizens of Philadelphia a little taste of Paris.

    Continuing the international theme, you'll see the Flags of the World, lining both sides of The Parkway. They were originally put up for the 1976 Bi-Centennial celebration and are still up. They serve as a reminder of the import role immigrants play in the success of the city. The countries are not chosen at random. Each flag on display represents a country that has a significant immigrant population in the City of Philadelphia.

    There were more buildings planned for The Parkway, including shops and restaurants. I think most Philadelphians would find more shops and restaurants a welcomed addition, but the plans were shelved at the time of The Great Depression, due to lack of funds, and have since been abandoned all together.

    Keep going.

Similar Audio Tours in Philadelphia

Philadeplphia prison tour

Heart of America: Philadelphia Prison Tour

Distance 0.5mi
Duration 15min
4 ratings

Come join an intrepid team of American investigative history street scourers as they voyage from one major American symbol to next: Liberty! Freedom! Prisons. Human rights abuses. Bad art. You think you know America? Well, wait til you see America.

Locicon 561-599 Ches...
Harry profpic 200x200
Philadelphia waterfront historical aduio tour

Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront

Distance 2mi
Duration 40min
8 ratings

This route explores the north central Philadelphia waterfront, focusing on what remains of this historic locale after the installation of Interstate I-95 in the 1970s, and relating (among other things) how early Quaker settlors lived in caves... More»

Locicon 204 Church S...
by Leon J. Pollom in Philadelphia
15 Dec 2019

Drive PA Indian Paths: Turnpike Eastbound, Part 4

Distance 75mi
Duration 80min
1 rating

This tour is Part 4 of a four-part eastbound Pennsylvania Turnpike series that eliminates turnpike boredom. To access the rest of the series, just tap on my author profile.

It tells incredible prehistoric tales of ancient Indians who once... More»