PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is known for its powerful history.
Delegates from the 13 colonies were inside what is now known as Independence Hall exactly 241 years ago this week. They were getting closer to declaring independence from King George III.
Long before that scorching summer of 1976, the Lenape Indians settled along the Delaware River in the 1600s. The Dutch, Finns, and Swedes then moved in.
“I don’t think there’s any other city in the United States that can come even near Philadelphia for its history or its importance with the nation,” Dr. Lee Arnold with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania said.
In 1682, a proud Quaker named William Penn founded Philadelphia. The “Penn” in Pennsylvania isn’t even named after Penn. The state is named after another William Penn; his father Admiral William Penn. King Charles II owed the admiral money, but instead of paying him with money, he gifted Penn land.
Arnold gave CBS3 an exclusive look at William Penn’s personal letters. In one he wrote about his dissatisfaction with Pennsylvania being named after his family.
“Quakers don’t believe in putting on airs or naming things after themselves or even sitting for portraits,” Arnold said.
That doesn’t mean someone can’t quickly draw you when you’re unaware. Arnold displayed rare pastels of William Penn and his wife Hannah Callowhill Penn. Both were drawn from life. The pastels are just another treasure Arnold mentions when his friends from other cities don’t give Philadelphia the credit it deserves.
“They say Boston where America starts. It’s like oh please, Boston?” Arnold said with a chuckle.
Tucked away inside “The Curtis” on 6th Street, opposite Washington Square, is The Dream Garden.
It’s not made of traditional leaves and flowers, but 100,000 pieces of glass.
“It’s a hidden treasure, but a lot of people come to visit regularly,” said Mary McGinn, PAFA curator.
Crowds have been coming here for more than a century now. At 15-feet-tall and 49-feet-wide, this mosaic took a whole year to build.
Twenty-four panels were created in New York and then reassembled in Philly.
This masterpiece brought to life by Tiffany Studios, based on a painting by Philly native Maxfield Parrish.
“A dream garden based on his garden in New Hampshire,” said McGinn. “This is opaque glass. It’s called Favrile glass. It has a lot of sparkle to it.”
Restoration gets underway this summer to be complete by the end of the year.
PHILLY KNOWN FOR GREAT FOOD
Philly is known for great food .We have some of the best restaurants in the world right here!
But the Philly food scene has a rich history, dating back to the 1700’s.
Like if you’re in Old City, the oldest restaurant is the City Tavern!
It’s a favorite for locals and tourists alike. It opened in 1773. Here you can eat the same foods that the Founding Fathers did.
“I was brought up on rabbit,” said Gloria Moody. “And they’re still wearing their attire of back then so, it’s good.”
And just steps away you can go from restaurants from the 1700s to the 1800’s
The Old Original Bookbinders opened its doors in the 1890’s and it’s enjoying a resurgence–having recently been purchased by Iron Chef Jose Garces.
If you’re in Center City, grab some grub and whet the whistle at the City Tavern.
If you love pasta, find the oldest Italian restaurants in the country in South Philly at Dante and Luigi’s and Ralph’s!
Restaurants like these are pioneers, helping Philadelphia become the food mecca it is today!
” it’s just an amazing place to eat,” said Mitchell Davis, with the James Beard Foundation.
The foundation gives out awards honoring the best of the best in the culinary world–awards routinely given to Philadelphia chefs and restaurants.
Davis says Philly has always been a “foodie city”.
“I think any city that can have a war over who has the best anything, you know, Pat’s or Geno’s or whatever, that means you have it in you to become a great food city because you have passion and some pride in who you are. In the last few years, certainly, the last decade, but even just the last 5, 4, 3 years, the scene has exploded here with new restaurants at every level.”