Center City includes the central business district and central neighborhoods of Philadelphia, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. It is the former City of Philadelphia prior to the Act of Consolidation, 1854 which extended the city borders to be coterminous with Philadelphia County. Greater Center City has grown into the second-most populated downtown area in the United States, after Midtown Manhattan in New York City, with an estimated 183,240 residents in 2015.
Center City is bounded by Pine Street to the south, the Delaware River to the east, the Schuylkill River to the west, and Vine Street to the north. This means that Center City occupies the boundaries of the city before it was made coterminous with Philadelphia County in 1854. The Center City District, which has special powers of taxation, uses a complicated, irregularly shaped boundary that includes much but not all of this area, and also extends beyond it. The Philadelphia Police Department patrols three districts located within Center City.
Center City is home to most of Philadelphia’s tallest buildings, including Philadelphia’s City Hall, the second tallest masonry building in the world and until 1987 the tallest in Philadelphia, as well as the tallest building in the world for seven years. In March 1987, One Liberty Place broke the gentlemen’s agreement not to exceed the height of the statue of William Penn atop City Hall. Since the completion of One Liberty Place, no Philadelphia major-league sports team had won a world championship for the next two decades, a phenomenon known as the “Curse of Billy Penn.”