The Neighborhood of Fairmount
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Penn's Plan

In 1681, Charles II of England granted a large track of land in the New World to William Penn as payment of a loan given to the king by Penn's father. The land included the area between the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, and Penn chose this place to build his Holy Experiment, the City of Philadelphia. He hired Thomas Holme to create a plan for the city which would include a grid of intersecting streets and several public squares.

On the portraiture or diagram of the proposed plan, one can see a small hill named Faire Mount just outside of the city's northwest boundary. William Penn originally planned to build his home on or near this hill on the eastern bank of the Schuylkill River. He felt that the area would be well suited for growing grapes. Unfortunately, the weather was too harsh in the winter. As the new City of Philadelphia grew and expanded, it was clear that the eastern edge of town along the Delaware was more popular, and so, the area near the Schuylkill continued to be a quiet rural area well into the late 1700's.

 

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Penn's Plan
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