In November, Philadelphia was named the first World Heritage City in the United States. This honor, which my staff and I are very excited about, recognizes Philadelphia’s significant historical setting and the national historic landmarks within the five-county Philadelphia area.
The University is deeply connected to the city. Penn’s own Fisher Fine Arts Library and Richards Medical Research Building are included among these landmarks. Penn President Amy Gutmann and Art History Professor David Brownlee worked with the Philadelphia World Heritage Committee in the efforts leading up to this honor. Of note, Philadelphia joins 293 cities on the World Heritage City list, including Vienna, Lima, and Vatican City.
This is an extraordinary time to be a Philadelphian and at Penn. Philadelphia is both classroom and playground for Penn students, faculty, and staff. When you visit campus, our Philly pride and commitment to this vibrant urban setting is tangible. The city often challenges us to consider how history can inform, inspire, and motivate the present.
This honor also provides a unique lens into one of the 4Cs: community. The community on a college campus is an important consideration when making college lists. As we learn from Philadelphia, community is not only composed of the voices around us today but includes those that were part of this space many years ago. We must know the past to understand the nature of a community in the present.
Explore our city and its history. To help you in the process of discovering Philadelphia, tomorrow I will share information, via Visit Philadelphia, that covers everything from top free attractions to the best brunch in the city.