In the beginning, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway was an architect’s and a planner’s dream — something breathtakingly bold for the staid old city. Then it became a cultural mecca — a center for museums and educational institutions. Today the Parkway stands as a triumph in urban planning.
Fountains, small parks, statues and monuments all lend a formality that gives the Benjamin Franklin Parkway its own special aura. This, of course, was not an accident. Photographs of the area before World War I show the cathedral and a stretch of road from Logan Square to Fairmount Park as a mass of buildings with no space at all between them.
The Parkway celebrated its 100th birthday in 2018.