That Beloved Litany: The “City Of Firsts”

The world's first electrical computer was debuted in Philadelphia in 1946. Photo: Newsworks

  • The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia project’s “Phrasing Philadelphia” essay series returns with Michael Zuckerman’s “City Of Firsts,” offering up that familiar—and not so familiar—litany of innovative achievements of the city. To Zuckerman, professor emeritus at Penn, Philadelphians’ use of the phrase “signified a place that could look backward and appreciate its past as New York never did.”
  • Plan Philly reports on confusion within the city’s planning community concerning just when the riverfront overlay expires. Initial fears that developers would not need to follow the new proposal’s regulations are now thought to be ill-founded.
  • The Inquirer looks at the prospects for the reuse of the recently announced Catholic school closings. While past examples have been successfully re-geared as mixed use and fully residential units, large open spaces such as cafeterias and gyms admittedly cause problems.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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