We have been impressed by the lively interest in the history of University City evident among residents and prospective residents. This interest in civic history is peculiar to Philadelphians, it seems, and perhaps to the citizens of a handful of other older cities in America. In commissioning this publication we hope to contribute to this interest and, perhaps, extend it a bit beyond the traditional boundaries of William Penn's "Greene Countrye Towne" which stopped at the eastern bank of the Schuylkill River.
Because we want this history to be read by the residents and other interested members of the public, it is written in the style of a simple chronicle. The reader will find no footnotes to break the narrative; the scholar will find no complex interpretations to unravel. For while the aim is to inform, the mood is friendly and conversational. The information contained herein concerning the personalities and places of old West Philadelphia should enrich our efforts in building University City.
We feel fortunate in having induced Mr. Leon Rosenthal to prepare the manuscript. His gifts as a popular historian can be seen in his book "THIS LIBERTY." His almost life-long residency in West Phildeliphia, during which he has actively participated in a full range of civic enterprises, provides him with an intimacy of detail which is evident throughout the work. Finally, it is of no little importance that Mr. Rosenthal is also a "Philadelphia lawyer."
Gaylord P. Harnwell, President
The West Philadelphia Corporation
Originally published in 1963.
Reprinted with permission of the West Philadelphia Partnership.
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