William Penn (Calder)

William Penn is a bronze statue by Alexander Milne Calder of William Penn, the founder and namesake for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[1]

William Penn
Dimensions (447 1/2 in)
LocationPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Coordinates39°57′10″N 75°09′49″W / 39.95281°N 75.16352°W / 39.95281; -75.16352Coordinates: 39°57′10″N 75°09′49″W / 39.95281°N 75.16352°W / 39.95281; -75.16352
OwnerCity of Philadelphia

It is located atop the Philadelphia City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was installed in 1894. It was cast in fourteen sections, and took almost two years to finish.

For almost 90 years, an unwritten gentlemen's agreement forbade any building in the city from rising above the hat on the Penn statue. This agreement ended in 1985, when final approval was given to the Liberty Place complex. Its centerpieces are two skyscrapers, One Liberty Place and Two Liberty Place, which rose well above the height of Penn's hat.

Since 2019, there have been calls to remove statues in the city which are now considered politically volatile. Due to William Penn being a slave owner, columnist Stu Bykofsky for The Philadelphia Inquirer sardonically wrote: "We can't abide 37 feet of him towering over the city. Take down the statue and snip his name off the commonwealth. We will become Sylvania."[2][3]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "William Penn, (sculpture)". Smithsonian American Art Museum's Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  2. ^ "Kate Smith statue shows that racism is sometimes a felony, sometimes a misdemeanor". The Philadelphia Inquirer. April 25, 2019. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "Philly has other statues to kill". Stu Bykofsky. June 4, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2021.

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