Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city.
William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, and the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, and the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia remained the nation’s largest city until being overtaken by New York City in 1790; the city was also one of the nation’s capitals during the revolution, serving as temporary U.S. capital while Washington, D.C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub. The city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland, Italy and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans.The city’s population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950.
The Philadelphia area’s many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor sculptures and murals than any other American city.
The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States.
Isaiah Zagar (born 1939) is a Philadelphia mosaic artist. He is notable for his murals which are primarily in or around Philadelphia’s South Street.