Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Known locally as "the pregnant oyster," this center for the arts was a gift from the US to Berlin in 1957.
Built in 1918, the residences at 1704 and 1706 Manning Street are part of one of the oldest and most affluent neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Surrounding a public park bearing the same name, Rittenhouse Square has proven to be a place rich in the city’s history, arts, and culture since 1825.
Originally Southwest Square, Rittenhouse was one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn. It was soon renamed for clockmaker and astronomer, David Rittenhouse.
However, U.S. Congressman James Harper would establish the neighborhood’s distinct style. When he built a townhouse on Walnut Street – the first property on the Square – its stately, patrician design would define the neighborhood for years to come.
The Square became home to many wealthy Philadelphians in the 19th century including Philadelphia Railroad president Alexander Cassatt, and department store founder John Wanamaker. Churches and exclusive clubs designed by renowned architects soon popped up; and by 1913, French architect Paul Phillipe Cret gave the Square a Parisian feel when he redesigned parts of it to resemble Paris gardens.
WW2 brought a real estate boom with modern apartments, office buildings & condos joining the elegant neighborhood. Once known for its Victorian mansions, the Square became a center for modern-day living with high rise apartments and even higher-end retail stores.
Today, Rittenhouse Square remains a favorite for both city-dwellers and those just passing through. A popular lunchtime spot for Philly locals and even a desired set location for Hollywood films, Rittenhouse continues its renowned legacy as a destination for arts, events, and the stately homes that line its streets.
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