Philadelphia's Lost Waterfront
Carry on over the viaduct. Stephen Girard figures prominently in the history of Philadelphia's waterfront. The sailor, shipping magnate and banker lived nearby and died following a traffic accident at the intersection we just crossed. He was the wealthiest man in the nation when he died at age 81.
Girard left Philadelphia some 500,000 dollars to improve the riverfront area east of Front Street, which enabled the port's meteoric rise in significance. He also left money to found "Girard College," a school for "poor, white, male orphans," which now accepts students of both sexes and all races.