Numerous national historical sites that are connected to the formation of the United States are located in Philadelphia. As one of the nation’s 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Independence National Historical Park serves as the hub of these historical landmarks. The city’s most well-known landmarks are Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the Liberty Bell. The residences of Edgar Allan Poe and Thaddeus Kosciuszko, early government structures including the First and Second Bank of the United States, Fort Mifflin, and the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church are some other national historic monuments. Philadelphia is the third most historic city in the nation with 67 National Historic Landmarks on its own.
The Franklin Institute, which houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Mütter Museum, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology are some of Philadelphia’s top science museums. National Constitution Center, Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia History Museum, National Museum of American Jewish History, African American Museum in Philadelphia, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania in the Masonic Temple, and Eastern State Penitentiary are just a few examples of historical institutions. Philadelphia is the location of the first zoo, hospital, and Fairmount Park, one of the largest and oldest urban parks in the country, established in 1855.
Important archival repositories are located in the city, such as the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, founded in 1814, and the Library Company of Philadelphia, founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin. The oldest denominational historical group in the nation was founded in 1852 and is called the Presbyterian Historical group.
The city is home to numerous art galleries, including the Rodin Museum, which houses the biggest collection of Auguste Rodin’s works outside of France, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. One of the biggest art museums in the world is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which houses much of the city’s artwork. After the 1976 motion picture Rocky, the lengthy staircase leading to the Art Museum’s main entrance gained notoriety.
Philadelphia is the American city with the most public artwork. The Association for Public Art was established in 1872 as the country’s first private organization devoted to fusing public art and urban design. The Artists Equity Association lobbied for the creation of the first Percent for Art policy in a U.S. city in 1959. The Philadelphia Office of Arts and Culture, the city’s arts organization, oversees the initiative, which has provided funding for more than 200 works of public art. Due to the establishment of the Department of Recreation’s Mural Arts Program in 1984, which aims to enhance neighborhoods and provide graffiti artists a platform, the city also has more murals than any other American metropolis.
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