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Rittenhouse Square is a neighborhood centered around one of William Penn's five town squares. The square was originally called "Southwest Square", for being the southwestern square in Penn's layout of the city. In 1825, the square was renamed after David Rittenhouse, who was a clockmaker and astronomer. Rittenhouse surveyed the Pennsylvania-Maryland border from 1763 to 1764, and his survey was used by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon later on. Rittenhouse also was a member of the state General Assembly and Constitutional Convention.

Rittenhouse Square began as a wealthy area when the first mansion was built on Walnut Street in 1840. Land surrounding the square was developed in the mid- to late 1800s, with brownstones, townhouses, and mansions. While some houses are now used as apartment buildings or offices, and highrises were built up along the square in the 1900s, the neighborhood is still a desirable address.


Buildings on Walnut Street, facing Rittenhouse Square. The Van Rensselaer House, on the right, was built in 1898. It was the home of Alexander Van Rensselaer, who financed the Philadelphia Orchestra. The Alison Building, built in 1924, is on the left.



An apartment building at 18th & Walnut Streets. The structure was built in 1913.



Parc Rittenhouse, on 18th Street. The highrise was built in 1925 and was formerly the Sheraton Rittenhouse Hotel.



Buildings on Walnut Street. The Rittenhouse Club facade, dating back to 1901, is being incorporated into 10 Rittenhouse, which is a now-completed condominium building.



The Curtis Institute of Music, on 18th Street. The structure was built in 1893 as the home of George Childs Drexel. The Institute was moved into the mansion in 1924.



1830 Rittenhouse Square South, facing the square. The apartment building was built in 1913 and was the first highrise facing the square.



Buildings on Rittenhouse Square South. 1900 Rittenhouse Square South, in the center, was built in 1923 and houses apartments.



Rittenhouse Square as it is now was laid out in 1913 by Paul Phillipe Cret, who also contributed to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Center City in the background



Some of the finest houses and buildings in the neighborhood face Rittenhouse Square, like these at the southwestern corner.



Houses on Rittenhouse Square South at Rittenhouse Square West.



Rowhouses on Rittenhouse Square.



St. Patrick's Church, on 20th Street. The parish was founded in 1839, and the current church was completed in 1913.



Brownstones on Spruce Street.



Rowhouses on Spruce Street.



Houses on Spruce Street. The Welsh House is in the center. The facade was installed in 1894 to the mid-1800s house. Having new facades placed on existing houses was a common way for homeowners with enough money to express individuality and remain in the same house.



Brownstones on Spruce Street.



Rowhouses on Spruce Street. Consulate of Romania is in the center.



Rowhouses on 19th Street.



The Dr. Horace Jayne House, on Delancey Place at 19th Street. The structure was built in 1895 and was designed by Frank Furness.



Rowhouses on Delancey Place. Gen. George G. Meade lived in the house on the very right, which was given to his wife for his role at the Battle of Gettysburg, and Meade died in the house in 1870.



Delancey Place was developed after the land was opened up for building in 1853. Most houses on the north side were built between 1854 and 1860, and houses on the south side were built before 1880. The houses are most-known for their brick facades with marble basements and doorsteps.



Doorsteps on Delancey Place.



Houses on Delancey Place.



Houses on 18th Street at Delancey Place.



Houses on Delancey Place at Bouvier Street. The apartment building on the right was built in 1924.



The Joshua Husband House, on 18th Street at Delancey Place. The house was built in 1857 for the sea captain.



Houses on Pine Street.



Rowhouses on Pine Street.



Buildings on Spruce Street. Rittenhouse Placem built in 1928, is on the left.



Brownstones on Spruce Street.



Looking at the skyscrapers of Liberty Place from the southwest corner of Rittenhouse Square.



Buildings on Walnut Street. Rittenhouse Plaza, built in 1926, is on the left. The Wellington, built in 1926, is in the center. 1845 Walnut Street, built in 1972, is on the right.



Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, on Rittenhouse Square. The church was built in 1859. The church's most notable rector was Rev. Phillips Brooks, who wrote the lyrics to "O Little Town of Bethlehem" while serving the parish.



Busiensses on Walnut Street.



The Latham Hotel, on 17th Street. The hotel was built in 1907 as an apartment building. It was converted into a hotel in the 1960s.

 

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Splendid pictures, comments and the square itself. Without a doubt, one of my favorite places in Philadelphia.

That 1857 corner house is quite a beauty, I don't remember it.
 

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Beautiful pictures, Matt.

The price of living on or near Rittenhouse Square keeps going up and up. I noticed that an apartment - an apartment, not a penthouse, near the square went for something like 5.6 million (it was in the homes/real estate section of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
 

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No. Philly is rated accurately. Rittenhouse Sq is a couple of blocks out of 120 sq miles. Most of the city is a slum.

Philly could be a great city and used to be a great city but the Dems ran it into the ground. If they get their way the whole city will look like N. Philly. Where are the pics of N. Philly?
5 posts and banned
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Where are the pics of N. Philly?
None here, I happened to be in Rittenhouse Square that day and that's why there are pictures of the area. I've covered the blue-collar-residential and industrial area of Southwest Center City in another thread, and have pictures from another less-than-affluent area (which I won't name as I want it to be a surprise).
 
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