Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Twenty-First Century

Barbie doll from Republican National Convention.Collector’s item from the Republican National Convention held in Philadelphia in 2000: an African American Barbie doll dressed as a delegate. (Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent, gift of the Republican National Committee, 2000, Photograph by Sara Hawken)

While investing in new attractions and services for tourism and redeveloping sites such as the Philadelphia Navy Yard for new purposes, the Philadelphia region also re-emerged as an immigration gateway for newcomers from South and Central America, Asia, and Africa. In 2008, the city of Philadelphia gained population for the first time since the 1950s. Building upon more than three centuries of past experience, Greater Philadelphia is charting its path toward the future.

Topics: Twenty-First Century

Gallery: Twenty-First Century

Waterfront Development in Camden
Waterfront Development in Camden

Visit Philadelphia (Explore in Delaware River Port Authority).

Boathouse Row at Night
Boathouse Row at Night

Visit Philadelphia (Explore in Boathouse Row).

Independence National Historic Park, 2008
Independence National Historic Park, 2008

Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia (Explore in Independence National Historic Park).

New Traditions
New Traditions

Laurel Hill Cemetery Company (Explore in Laurel Hill Cemetery).

Carl Mackley Houses, 2012
Carl Mackley Houses, 2012

Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Explore in Public Housing).

Ursuline Academy: First Liturgy of the School Year
Ursuline Academy: First Liturgy of the School Year

Bud Keegan Images (Explore in Parochial Education).

Timeline: Twenty-First Century

Diverse “global communities” emerge in South Philadelphia, upper North Philadelphia, and Upper Darby in Delaware County.

Declining population forces closings or consolidations of many Catholic schools and parishes.

2000: Education Empowerment Act in Pennsylvania creates School Reform Commission, ending local control of School District of Philadelphia.

2000: Philadelphia Navy Yard acquired by Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development; redeveloped as business campus for industry, offices, and research and development.

2000: Republican National Convention meets in Philadelphia.

2000-8: John F. Street is mayor of Philadelphia.

Image credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

2001: Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (shown here) opens on South Broad Street, the “Avenue of the Arts.”

2002-10: State of New Jersey takes over governance of Camden, provides $175 million for city redevelopment projects.

2003: The Liberty Bell is moved to new Liberty Bell Center from the pavilion constructed during the Bicentennial celebration of 1976.

July 4, 2003: National Constitution Center opens. The institution was authorized by the Constitution Heritage Act of 1988.

2004: New Jersey Transit opens the RiverLine between Trenton and Camden.

2008: For the first time since the 1950s, Philadelphia gains population, mainly through immigration.

Image credit: B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

2006: “This is America: When Ordering Please Speak English” sign at Geno’s Steaks sparks controversy.

2007: Community campaign saves The Gross Clinic, by Thomas Eakins, from being sold away from Philadelphia.

2008-16: Michael Nutter is mayor of Philadelphia.

2008: Phillies win the World Series.

2008: At 975 feet, the Comcast Tower (shown here) is the city’s tallest building. Equipped with eco-friendly technologies, it is the tallest “green” building in the country.

2008: Center for Disease Control reports that New Jersey has the fifth highest numbers of AIDS diagnoses, Pennsylvania ranks seventh and Delaware thirty-third.

Image credit: B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia

May 2009: Autumn Adkins is named Girard College’s sixteenth president, the first woman and first African American to hold the position.

2010: First Philadelphia Union soccer game (stadium in Chester County pictured here).

2010: “The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation” opens in response to public demand for acknowledging slavery in the President’s House during the 1790s.

2011-13: Following allegations of impropriety, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development temporarily takes control of Philadelphia Housing Authority.

Image credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

2012: Barnes Foundation (shown here) moves galleries from Merion, Pennsylvania, to Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

2013: Graduation rate in School District of Philadelphia rises to approximately 60 percent.

2013: State of New Jersey takes over management of Camden school district.

2014: Comcast announces plans for technology center in second, taller skyscraper.

2015: Philadelphia takes world stage during visit of Pope Francis and with designation as a “World Heritage City.”

2016: James F. Kenney becomes mayor of Philadelphia.

Image credit: R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Map: Twenty-First Century

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