University City, PA, Throughout the Centuries

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Abuse Guardian: Brian Kent, Esq. Pennsylvania Abuse Guardian

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This article is brought to you by the law firm of sexual abuse in University City. We are thrilled to be able to bring you informative content about our neighborhood and can't wait to share more.

An Account of University City

University City is a neighborhood in the easternmost part of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Situated directly across from Center City and the Schuylkill River, the area was established as Blockley in 1677 by William Warner, who had purchased 1,500 acres of land from the local Lenape Indian tribe. In the 1800s, Blockley Township was a place for "shadowy characters and evil-doers" to hide out and had a poor reputation among others. In the 1890s, as electrified streetcars arrived in the area, development began in the neighborhood as more people were able to easily commute into Center City.

In an attempt to attract the University of Pennsylvania's faculty back to the neighborhoods near the school, two realtors and Penn graduates coined the name University City in the mid-1950s. It was also part of an urban renewal and gentrification effort taking place in the area. The neighborhood's boundaries are Market Street, Powelton Avenue and Spring Garden Street to the north, the Schuylkill River to the east, Civic Center Boulevard, University Avenue and Powelton Avenue to the south, and 52nd Street to the west. The eastern side is home to the Penn and Drexel University campuses, independent centers of scientific research, several medical institutions, Cira Centre, Cira Centre South, and 30th Street Station. The western side is primarily residential and consists of Victorian and early 1900s housing stock.

Continue with an Early History of Point Breeze, Pennsylvania.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a research university in University City. Also known as Penn or UPenn, it was established around 1740 as the College of Philadelphia and is one of the only nine colonial colleges that were chartered before the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Founded by Benjamin Franklin, it offers four undergraduate schools, including the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the Wharton School. The private Ivy League also offers 12 graduate and professional schools that any student of Penn can take classes in because of its "One University Policy."

UPenn is home to the diest school of medicine in North America, the first student union building and organization, the first double-decker college football stadium, and the first Catholic student club in North America. It also offers a highly ranked law school and features the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Morris Arboretum.

The Woodlands

The Woodlands, located on Woodland Avenue, is a National Historic Landmark District (NHLD) in University City. Designed by architect William Hamilton, it was built in 1770 of the Neoclassical and Robert Adam architectural style. The property encompasses a Federal-style mansion, a carriage house and stable, and a garden landscape.

The land that is The Woodlands was once a 250-acre tract in Blockley Township. In 1735, it was purchased by famous Philadelphia lawyer Andrew Hamilton. In 1770, his grandson William built a Georgian-style mansion on the property. After the American Revolution, he expanded the manor to include 16 bedrooms, kitchens and service rooms. It was one of the greatest examples of domestic American architectural achievements of the 1700s. As an avid botanist, his property also consisted of several greenhouses that grew to include more than 10,000 species of plants.

After Hamilton's death in 1813, most of The Woodlands estate was sold for residential and institutional development. To preserve the core of the property, the Woodlands Cemetery Company bought the last 92 acres of it and established a rural cemetery. On December 24, 1967, the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and designated an NHLD. On December 28, 1996, it was designated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The grounds of the estate are free and open to the public. It is a safe and tranquil spot for walking, dog-walking, running, and biking.

Our Local Office

If you have been silenced by the clergy after speaking up about a sexual abuse incident, contact our University City clergy abuse attorneys to get the justice you deserve. We will help you hold your offender and those who abet them accountable for the crime. Call today for more information.

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