Free Library of Philadelphia
1.  What was the tallest building in America from 1901 until 1908?
City Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. was the tallest during that time period.

Source: WPEN radio trivia, 5/85
2.  What once stood in the center of Philadelphia?
A large lump of coal once stood in the center of City Hall courtyard to mark the center of town.

Source: WPEN radio trivia, 7/1/85
3.  What was the first Philadelphia building to be built higher than the statue of William Penn on top of City Hall?

The "gentlemen's agreement" kept all of Philadelphia's buildings lower than the top of Alexander Milne Calder's statue of Penn on top of City Hall. However, in the 1980s the "gentlemen's agreement" was broken with the construction of the LibertyPlacePlazaby Chicago's Helmut Jahn.

Source: An Architectural Guidebook to Philadelphia, 1999, p.v, Francis Morrone, 720.9748 M834A

4.  Where was the Free Library of Philadelphia originally located?

The Free Library of Philadelphia first began operating out of City Hall in 1894.

Source: Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City, 1994, p.100, John Andrew Gallery, 720.9748 P53A

5.  What is the height and weight of the William Penn statue on top of City Hall?

The statue is thirty-seven feet tall and weighs 53,348 pounds.

Source: Bulletin Almanac and Yearbook, 1976, p.280, 917.481 B87 1976

6.  When did Philadelphia's City Hall clock begin ticking?
It started ticking on January 1, 1899.

Source: Philadelphia--City Hall--See it, Use it, Love it.
7.  Where is the Conversation Hall in Philadelphia located?
Conversation Hall, which was to have been a grand meeting place, was walled up years ago and made into cubicles for bureaucrats. It occupies the second and third stories of City Hall Tower.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 4/29/82
8.  What are the dimensions of Philadelphia's City Hall clock?

The clock on Philadelphia's City Hall is twenty-six feet in diameter. The minute hand weighs 225 pounds.

Source: Philadelphia's City Hall, 2003, p. 18, Allen M. Hornblum, 974.811 H783P

9.  Why isn't City Hall the tallest building in Philadelphia anymore?
Until 1987, a "gentlemen's agreement" prevented any Center City Philadelphia building from rising above the statue of William Penn. In that year, Mayor W. Wilson Goode endorsed the development of One Liberty Place, which broke the barrier.

Source: Philadelphia--City Hall--See it, Use it, Love it
10.  Which are some of the tallest buildings in Philadelphia?
One Liberty Place, 945 ft; Two Liberty Place, 809 ft; Mellon Bank Center, 792 ft; Bell Atlantic Tower, 725 ft; Blue Cross Tower, 625 ft; City Hall, 548 ft.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 3/26/89
11.  In what direction does Penn's statue on Philadelphia's City Hall face?

Penn faces northeast. The statue faces Penn Treaty Park where Penn signed a peace treaty with the local Leni Lenape Indians.

Source: Philadelphia's City Hall, 2003, p. 63, Allen M. Hornblum, 974.811 H783P

12.  What are "flying stairways"?
They are stairways without any visible means of support. There are 4 such 6-story tall stairways in the corners of City Hall in Philadelphia. The steps are cantilevered from the wall, with weight resting on the step below.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.98, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f
13.  Where does the term "Center City" come from?
Center City is a term common in Europe, but unusual in the United States. William Penn spaced his four squares equidistant from Center Square, which was where City Hall now stands.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 01/16/75
14.  How long did Alexander Milne Calder work on City Hall in Philadelphia?
Calder worked for 21 years designing the tower, statues and ornamentation. There are representations of Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Nicholas Biddle, Thomas Mifflin, Swedes, Native Americans and the Seasons on and in the building.

Source: Klein. Fairmount Park. 1974, p.99.
15.  What is the height of City Hall (i.e., to the top of William Penn's hat)?
The top of William Penn's hat on top of City Hall is 548 feet above street level. The William Penn statue is thirty-seven feet tall.

Source: Philadelphia's City Hall, 2003, p. 8, Allen M. Hornblum, 974.811 H783P
16.  Who designed Philadelphia's City Hall, and in what style is it designed?

City Hall was designed by John McArthur Jr., at Scottish architect. It was designed in the Second Empire Style, modeled after the Palais des Tuileries and the Louvre in Paris.

Source: Philadelphia's City Hall, 2003, p. 7-8, Allen M. Hornblum, 974.811 H783P

17.  Who designed both the tower of City Hall, and then sculpted the statue of William Penn that tops it?
Alexander Milne Calder designed both the statue and the tower. Calder spent 21 years working on this and other statues for the building.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac,1976. p. 280
18.  What was the company which produced the statue of William Penn which now tops City Hall?

The nearly four story twenty-seven ton statue was cast by the Tacony Iron and Metal Works in 1889. It was completed in three years. It was raised in fourteen pieces to the top of the tower on November 28, 1894.

Source: Philadelphia's City Hall, 2003, p. 63, Allen M. Hornblum, 974.811 H783P