THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Alive with colorful flowers, flags, and fountains, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway stretches northwest from John F. Kennedy Plaza to the Kelly (East) and West River drives. This 250-foot-wide boulevard is crowned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as where the Barnes Foundation has built its new home.
French architects Jacques Greber and Paul Cret designed the parkway in the 1920s. Today
a distinguished assemblage of museums, institutions, hotels, and apartment buildings line the street, competing with each other in grandeur.
Here you can find the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Family Court, housed in buildings whose designs are copied from the palaces on Paris's Place de la Concorde. A newer addition is the Four Seasons Hotel, though its dignified design has made it look like a local institution since the day it opened. A grand processional path, the parkway occasionally lets down its hair as the route for city parades and the site of many festivals and events, including the Thanksgiving and Columbus Day parades and the TD Bank Philadelphia International Cycling championship.
For a grand introduction to the heart of the downtown area, climb the few steps to the plaza in front of the Municipal Services Building at...
Stretching from the edge of downtown to the city's northwest corner, Fairmount Park is the largest landscaped city park in the world. With more...