Market Street (Philadelphia)

Market Street (Philadelphia)

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Market Street (Philadelphia)

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Market Street, originally known as High Street, is a major east–west street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For the majority of its length, it serves as Pennsylvania Route 3.

The High Street was the familiar name of the principal street in nearly every English town at the time Philadelphia was founded. But if Philadelphia was indebted to England for the name of High Street, nearly every American town is, in turn, indebted to Philadelphia for its Market Street. Long before the city was laid out or settled, Philadelphia's founder, William Penn, had planned that markets would be held regularly on the wide High Street. The city's first market stalls were situated in the center of the thoroughfare starting at Front Street and proceeding west eventually to 8th Street. The stalls soon became covered and were not taken down as planned. Later, additional covered sheds appeared west of Center Square as the city expanded westward. The street began to be called Market Street around 1800. The road's new name was made official by an ordinance of 1858, ironically, just a year before the market sheds were ordered removed.



Market Street has been called the most historic highway in America because of the various historic sites along its eastern section. Many of Benjamin Franklin's activities were centered along Market Street. His house was located near the intersection of Fourth Street, and it is said that he may have performed his famous kite-flying experiment near Tenth and Market...
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