Public Squares

In our notice of the State House, some remarks were made, in relation to "Independence Square." This spot is cherished, on account of its name, and the imperishable ''declaration," first made, within its limits. The aged trees, within its enclosure, have been carefully preserved; the ground laid out in gravel walks, and the whole ornamented with young and vigorous trees, introduced to secure ample shade, and present an agreeable combination of foliage.

Washington Square

Lies immediately Southwest of Independence Square, having Sixth Street on its east side, and Walnut Street on its north side. This Square is entirely surrounded with a tall iron railing, resting on heavy blocks of granite, and has principal entrances at each comer, through heavy iron gates, supported by large blocks of marble. The Square can also be entered, by small gates on either of its four sides: It was at one time formerly, a sacred depository of the dead and is now, one of the most ornamental spots in the City; its walks, trees, shrubbery, &c. all preserved in high order, cannot fail to produce a most agreeable impression especially in the summer and autumn In the center of this square, the foundation of a Monument, in honor of the "Father of his Country'' was laid, on the 23rd February, 1833. This important structure should not be suffered to languish, especially as Funds have already been secured, to commence the Monument. Philadelphia, in which, Washington lived so many years, an ornament to the City, and whose principal acts, constituting him the first man, of all times, were here performed, and should never rest, until an enduring Monument of her gratitude, is elated.

Franklin Square

Facing on Race Street, on the South, and on Sixth Street, on the East, is surrounded by an iron fence, supported on dark grey granite: It is ornamented with gravel walks, mounds, trees, and shrubbery. In its centre, is a splendid marble Fountain, with forty Jets of Water, surrounded with beautiful circular iron railing, which has a most agreeable effect, in its appearance, to thousands of the citizens and strangers who retort there, for health and pleasure, during the warm season.

Penn Square

Occupying the Site of the old water works, at the Junction of Broad and Market Streets, has been recently placed in a condition to become ornamental, as soon as the young trees within its enclosure, have attained sufficient growth.

In these Squares, Gas has been introduced; from the City Gas works, and persons are provided, to secure good order and preserve the public property.

Rittenhouse Square

Is situated in the South-western Section of the City, and Logan Square, in the Northwestern Section. These will become ornamental, when their immediate neighborhoods become more settled.

The House of Refuge

This Benevolent Institution should not escape notice. Here, the early effects of neglect, in instruction and morals, are corrected, and the first indications of juvenile dereliction, are punished with leniency corresponding to the age and the crime of the subject. It is almost impossible, to estimate the great good, which has already resulted, and which will continue to flow, from this truly Benevolent Institution, During their residence there, the children of different ages and sexes, are taught the rudiments of an English education, and generally, at the time of their discharge, are sufficiently well qualified for the transaction of all the ordinary business of life. The boys are employed a certain number of hours during the day, upon such work as suits their several capacities and strength, whilst the girls are taught all the requisites which are necessary, to make them thoroughly acquainted with the business of housewifery. Each inmate occupies a separate lodging apartment, in order to prevent the consummation resulting from mixing adroit, with juvenile offenders, and to enable them, in loneliness, to reflect upon the moral instruction, which it is the principal object of the Institution to inculcate. During their residence here, which is at the will of their parents or guardians, in order to secure the advantage of education, hours are set apart when the usual business of the house is suspended. The whole efforts of the benevolent individuals, who patronize this laudable Institution, among whom are many ladies, as well also, as that of the Matron, and other worthy officers, is to destroy the effects of erroneous associations, and to leave a lasting impression of the superiority of Virtue, especially when secured, by the proper influence of Religion.


History of Philadelphia

Source: A History of Philadelphia: With a Notice of Villages, in the Vicinity, Printed and published by Daniel Bowen, 1839

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