Penn & Philadelphia
Recently ranked among the top five most livable cities in the nation, the last decade has seen Philadelphia blossom in an urban renaissance. For Penn students, the cultural and recreational gifts of the city are a simple extension of the University's resources. Only minutes away from campus is the new Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, where the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the world's premier symphonic groups, performs. Up the street is the Academy of Music, home to the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Ballet. On-campus, the Annenberg Center houses dance and theater performances by national and local performing arts groups; and around town, the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Painted Bride, and Philadanco are three among many theaters and companies that contribute to the city's eclectic offerings.
Long recognized for its outstanding architecture, with representative works by leading architects including William Strickland, Frank Furness, and Frank Lloyd Wright, the city of Philadelphia offers unparalleled visual inspiration to PennDesign students. On Penn's campus alone are fine examples of buildings by Wilson Eyre, Frank Furness, Eero Saarinen, Romaldo Giurgola, Louis I. Kahn, Robert Venturi, and Denise Scott Brown. The city's collection of outdoor public art is the largest in the nation. In addition to its numerous galleries and museums, the city boasts a unique First Friday celebration: on the first Friday evening of the month, the dozens of galleries in Philadelphia's Old City stay open for an evening of painting and sculpture, food, and fun.
Much of the historical, political, cultural, professional, and entertainment activity takes place in a relatively small area in the center of town, aptly known as Center City. Famous as a center of the professions and of commerce, history, and the arts, Center City is a rarity in that it is also largely residential; here is where many of our graduate students reside. Adjacent to the Penn campus is University City, another lively neighborhood for students and families, recently undergoing a revival.
Penn students take advantage of the city's great shopping, restaurants (the Zagat Survey lists almost 700), theaters, sports palaces, night spots, and more. In short, enrolling at Penn means attending daily life in Philadelphia—a fine way to learn, first-hand, both the whys and the hows of real urban living.