Free Library of Philadelphia
1.  When were the two great fires at the Broad Street Station in Philadelphia?
The first was June 11, 1923, and it burned for two days, destroying the train shed and storage vaults. The second fire was on Sept. 12, 1943, and it destroyed a block long section of trackage.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 1/4/67, p. 17
2.  What was the original name of the Inquirer Building at Broad and Spring Garden Streets?

It was called the Elverson Building, which was a 1924 application of the Italian Renaissance style to a tall commercial structure.

Source: Philadelphia Preserved, 1981, p.291, Richard J. Webster, 720.9748 P53PR2

3.  In 1876, how much did it cost to build the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (located on Broad Street in Philadelphia)?
It cost $543,000; $370,000 was raised by Jasper Claghorn, $33,000 was a bequest from Henry Gilpin, $140,000 was raised by the sale of property, and the rest came from smaller donations.

Source: Henderson, Helen. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1911
4.  When was the first official Philadelphia Mummers' Parade?

The city of Philadelphia began sponsoring the Mummers' Parade at the beginning of the 20th century. City Council put up $5,000 in prizes to award to the Mummers' participating in the parade. It was a small parade by current standards with only 2,500 men participating in the four Fancy Clubs and eight Comic Clubs in the Parade.

Source: Oh! Dem Golden Slippers, 1970, p.46-47, Charles E. Welch, 394.5 P53W

5.  What was the Sesquicentennial Exposition in 1926 in Philadelphia?

The Sesquicentennial Exposition was a world's fair to celebrate our country's 150th anniversary. It was held mainly at League Island Park at the bottom of Broad Street in South Philadelphia. Paul Phillipe Cret designed the physical layout, which included a giant representation of the Liberty Bell at the entrance.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.38-39, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

6.  What is the longest street in Philadelphia?

Many Philadelphians boast that 12 mile long Broad Street is the longest straight street in the world. However, that honor goes to Western Avenue in Chicago, which is a 23 ½ mile straightaway. Broad Street is the longest street in Philadelphia.

Source: Mermaids, Monasteries, Cherokees, and Custer: The Stories Behind Philadelphia Street Names, 1990, p.38, Robert I. Alotta, 917.4811 AL73M

7.  Where is displayed the Masonic apron George Washington wore when he laid the cornerstone to the Capitol building in Washington?
It is displayed in the museum of the Masonic Temple on Broad Street in Philadelphia.

Source: Bulletin Almanac and Yearbook, 1976, p.284, 917.481 B87 1976
8.  When was the Academy of Music built?

The ground breaking for the Academy of Music took place on June 18, 1855, and the corner stone was laid July 26, 1855. On January 26, 1857 a grand ball was held to celebrate the opening of the Academy of Music. The first opera, Il Trovatore, was performed on February 25, 1857.

Source: Within These Walls: A History of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, 1984, p.37-38, 41, 44, John Francis Marion, 780.9748 Ac12m, See Also the Academy of Music website.

9.  Who designed the Philadelphia's Academy of Music?

The architect for the Academy of Music was Napoleon LeBrun. For acoustical purposes, the auditorium is designed after the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy.

Source: Within These Walls: A History of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, 1984, p.18, 33, John Francis Marion, 780.9748 Ac12m, See Also the Academy of Music website.

10.  What is the origin of the Union League of Philadelphia?
It was a patriotic venture formed in 1862. During the Civil War it raised over half a million dollars in support of the North. In 1865 it moved into its present location at Broad and Sansom Streets.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.373
11.  Where is the Chapel of Four Chaplains?
Dedicated in 1951, it was at Broad and Berks Streets in Philadelphia. It closed in 1990 for repairs and in 1999 moved to Valley Forge.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.393
12.  What was the first Jewish congregation in Philadelphia?

It is believed that in the 1740s a small group of Jews began holding services in a house on Sterling Alley. Mikveh Israel was the first synagogue, and construction began in 1782. It was originally supposed to have been built on Sterling Alley, but protests from the Protestant community lead the Jewish leaders to build the synagogue on Cherry Alley (North of High Street) between Third and Fourth Streets. Today it is located between Arch and Market at Fourth Street.

Source: Jewish Life in Philadelphia 1830-1940, 1983, p.291-292, Murray Friedman, 974.811 J556L, and The Mikveh Israel website.

13.  Which classical orchestra performed the score in the 1940 Disney film,
It was the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Leopold Stokowski. The score was recorded at the Academy of Music on Broad Street in Center City.

Source: Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual, 1995, p.20, Kenneth Finkel, 974.811 P53AA