Philadelphia’s City Hall is the largest, tallest and most expensive of all city halls in the United States. William Penn’s 1683 plan for Philadelphia set Center Square, the largest of five rectangular squares, aside for public buildings. Until the 19th century Center Square was far from central as most of the population lived near the Delaware river, close to the Independence Hall.
As the population started to move westward and the need for a larger city hall became imminent, a move to Center Square was approved in 1870. By then Center Square had been renamed Penn Square in honor of the city’s founder, William Penn.
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