A 1905 photo of Market Street in Philadelphia

Here are some of my favorite historic photos of Philadelphia

I was on the hunt for a few photos that could be appropriately sourced and shared from historical Philadelphia and, well, I kept finding ones I loved and wished were in one place.

So that’s what I’m doing here.

Didn’t realize that the Calder-sculpted statue of William Penn is more than 30-feet tall? This famous photo will help.

Hope you enjoy.

  • Vivid, high-resolution historical photos of places I regularly visit today can give me chills — both when it looks similar and different. The historical photo archiving site Shorpy has some excellent ones from Philadelphia. Try this one looking west on Market Street in 1905, which is partially depicted above, or this one of Delaware Avenue at Market Street in 1908 or this one around 1910 of Independence Hall.
  • I’m captivated by my neighborhood’s fishing history, so photos and images of Cramp’s Shipyard, which helped make Fishtown get its name, are fun. Look at this one and this one.
  • Center City is old, so the idea of this massive Pennsylvania Railroad station simply no longer existing is always interesting. It being burned down in 1923 might have helped Center City thrive though.
  • Bustling Market Street, which has been reduced to unexpected cavernous blight from nearly 12th Street to 7th, though there’s hope for a rebound, is home to some of my favorite historical photos. Like this of 12th and Market and this one at 6th.
  • Food will win the war.
  • There was a literal wall that blocked a part of Center City. Find photos and stories here.
  • We removed neighborhoods to develop our Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which welcomed automobiles as “an honored guest.” Look at this photo.


2 thoughts on “Here are some of my favorite historic photos of Philadelphia”

  1. Chris, the Chinese Wall was nowhere near Chinatown. Nicknamed for the Great Wall of China due to its imposing size.

    It went down Market from 15th Street onward, carrying regional rail tracks form Broad Street Station to 30th. You can still see remnants of the wall where the trains go underground before coming into Suburban Station.

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