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A Walking Tour of Old City Philadelphia

Part 1 - Welcome Park to the First Bank of the USA


Welcome Park Philadelphia

Welcome Park

Photo by John Fischer
Whether you are a local resident who wants to rediscover his or her hometown or someone who is planning to travel to Philadelphia and do some sightseeing on your vacation, I hope that you find this series useful and enjoyable. Be sure to check the photos found on the right side of the page.

When I drive into the city, I prefer to park in Old City as opposed to mid-town. Parking in Old City is closer to I-95 which, for many, is the most direct route into and out of the city. There is less traffic and the rates are much better. I like to park at the lot bordered by Front and 2nd Streets, Walnut Street and Gatzmer Streets. It is right behind the old Bookbinders Restaurant, and next to the Welcome Park. Here's a map to help. If you get there before 10:00 a.m. you can park all day for less than $10.00, a real bargain by big city standards.

As you exit the parking garage, you find yourself in "Welcome Park," the site of the Slate Roof House where in 1701 William Penn wrote his famous "Charter of Privileges," the framework for the government of Pennsylvania. Today there is a small, but nice, park where you can sit for a few minutes before you start your walk.

The street visible from the park is 2nd Street. As you face the street, the building to your right, next to the parking garage is the Thomas Bond House, a restored 18th century house with 19th century alterations. This house now is a popular bed and breakfast inn.

Across the street to the left is the City Tavern Restaurant, a reconstruction of Revolutionary America's finest tavern. Today the restaurant which is open for lunch and dinner. The staff dresses in colonial dress, so you can get the feel for how it felt to eat back in revolutionary times.

Make a left on 2nd Street and walk to the corner. When you reach the corner of 2nd and Walnut, you're going to make a right and head up town, but first, take a look to your left right there at the corner and you'll see the former Bookbinders Restaurant, once one of Philadelphia's most famous restaurants, known world-wide for its seafood and snapper soup. It is currently under renovation and scheduled for a re-opening in 2004.

NEXT PAGE - Walnut Street and the First Bank of the USA

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