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Center City Apartments

Center City Apartment Listings

Center City is the “downtown” portion of Philadelphia, but this term is rarely used by Philadelphians. Center City serves as the city’s Central Business District (CBD) and is the third-largest by area of its kind in America.

Among Center City’s neighborhoods and districts are Penn’s Landing, Old City (which holds the historic district, numerous art galleries and collectives, and a number of bars and restaurants), Society Hill, Washington Square West, Market East, Chinatown, Logan Circle, the Museum District (located along the Ben Franklin Parkway), Rittenhouse Square, and the Avenue of the Arts (South Broad Street).

Most of Philadelphia’s skyscrapers are located here. Philadelphia’s City Hall is the tallest masonry building in the world; and through the late 1980s, City Hall was the tallest building in Philadelphia. In March of 1987, One Liberty Place broke the gentlemen’s agreement not to exceed the height of the statue of William Penn on the top of the City Hall.

Since then, seven other skyscrapers have been completed exceeding the statue, including One Liberty Place’s little sister, Two Liberty Place. One Liberty Place is the tallest building in the state, but in 2005 construction began on the Comcast Center which, when completed in 2007, will be 30 feet taller than One Liberty Place. A ninth building, approved for construction in 2005 and called 1441 Chestnut, will also be taller than City Hall upon completion in 2006. Since the completion of One Liberty Place, no Philadelphia sporting team has won a world championship event in its discipline, a phenomenon known as the “Curse of Billy Penn.”

Other Philadelphia skyscrapers include the Mellon Bank Center and the Verizon Tower, the latter of which houses a traffic camera used by the Philadelphia branch of the Westwood One MetroNetworks traffic service.

Across the street from City Hall is a Masonic Temple, a legacy of the Founding Fathers and signers of the Declaration of Independence, many of whom were Freemasons.

While Philadelphia as a whole has seen its population decline since the 1960s, Center City has become a fast-growing section of the city. Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses, the population of Center City increased by 10%. The 2005 Center City population, at approximately 90,000, makes Center City one of the more populated central business districts in the United States.