“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Penn's Plan

Penn's Plan Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, July 5, 2008
1. Penn's Plan Marker
Inscription. William Penn learned many lessons in life. Living in 17th century England taught him that open space offered breathing places for great cities and also slowed the spread of fire.
He applied what he had learned to Philadelphia. He insisted on a site that was "navigable, high, dry, and healthy." He wanted "uniform" streets with "houses built in a line." He envisioned "gardens, orchards, or fields" around the houses. Penn wanted "a green country town which will never be burnt, and always be wholesome."
Penn's city plan, drawn up by surveyor Thomas Holme included five public squares, the center one for "houses for Publick affairs" and the others as green oases carefully placed throughout the developing city.
Location. 39° 56.856′ N, 75° 9.084′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker can be reached from Walnut and 6th Streets. Touch for map. Marker is in Washington Square on the right heading to the center of the park. Marker is in this post office area: Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Capital City (here, next to this marker); A Fashionable Promenade (here, next to this marker); Washington Square
Penn's city design image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, July 5, 2008
2. Penn's city design
The original names of the five public squares reflected their locations in the city's center and its northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest corners. Early Quaker leaders avoided naming them after people.
(here, next to this marker); Bicentennial Moon Tree (here, next to this marker); In Memory of the Many American Soldiers (here, next to this marker); Welcome to Washington Square (a few steps from this marker); Sorrow and Joy (a few steps from this marker); Linked in Memory (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Other Washington Square markers.
Categories. Colonial EraNotable PersonsNotable PlacesPolitical SubdivisionsSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 9, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 964 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 9, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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