Tobey’s favorite place to bring friends is the viewing deck at the top of Philly’s City Hall.
For $8/adult and $4/student, a maximum of 5 people squeeze into a tiny elevator and head up to the platform just under William Penn’s feet. Enclosed by glass, but open to the elements, you get a great view of Center City Philadelphia.
*City Hall held the title of world’s tallest occupied building from 1901-1908.
*With almost 700 rooms, it is the biggest municipal building in the United States.
*Made of over 88 million bricks, marble and granite, it is the largest masonry structure in the world.
*Alexander Milne Calder created over 250 sculptures that decorate the building (including the sculpture of William Penn). His son, Alexander Stirling Calder, created the fountain up the Parkway at Logan Square. His grandson, another Alexander Calder, has one of his famous mobiles (“ghost”) hanging at the end of the Parkway inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
*In the 1950’s the building was considered so ugly that plans were made to tear it down.
*(X-rated) Tip: viewed from the left (north) side, William Penn’s extended hand looks like an entirely different part of his anatomy – giving the statue the nickname “Willy’s Willy.”
Just 3 blocks away, Reading Terminal Market is a great place to eat when everyone is in the mood for something different. Tobey’s favorite is a grilled cheese sandwich (with brisket and mac&cheese) at Valley Shepherd:
My favorite is the roast pork (with provolone and hot peppers) at DiNic’s:
And (of course) it’s required to finish up with the world’s best donuts from the Amish bakers at Beiler’s:
City Hall Tower Tour Information: http://www.visitphilly.com/history/philadelphia/city-hall/