Visit America's Oldest Surviving Bridge That Happens To Be In A Stunning Destination

Philadelphia, famously known as the "City of Brotherly Love," is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves history. The city is steeped in American history and is home to endless historical sites and landmarks to explore. However, if you're someone who enjoys discovering overlooked treasures, you'll be thrilled to learn about the Frankford Avenue Bridge. This magnificent and often overlooked architectural masterpiece in Northeast Philadelphia holds significant importance in Philadelphia's history. Visiting the stone overpass that crosses Pennypack Creek is an excellent opportunity to experience early American engineering and marvel at the craftsmanship that went into its construction.

Whether you're interested in history or just enjoy being outside, the bridge is an excellent spot to explore. Of course, there is much more to see and do while in Philly. For instance, you can check out the charming cobblestone streets of the Old City district, spend hours perusing the best museums, and so much more. There's something for everyone here, so put on your walking shoes and discover all of Philly's most notable sites.

The rich history of the Frankford Avenue Bridge

This iconic structure's history dates back to the 1600s, before the birth of the nation. It has endured throughout many major points in American history, including the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Industrial Revolution. The Frankford Avenue Bridge is also known as the Pennypack Creek Bridge, the Pennypack Bridge, the Holmesburg Bridge, and the King's Highway Bridge. The crossing was constructed in 1697 and was the first stone arch built in the United States. It is the oldest surviving roadway bridge, and likely the oldest stone bridge in the country. The twin-arch structure is a 73-foot section that carries Frankford Avenue and crosses Pennypack Creek.

William Penn, who founded not only the city of Philadelphia but the State of Pennsylvania, requested the construction of an overpass to connect his mansion to the city. The bridge was built on the King's Highway, a road built at the order of King Charles II of England to connect Philadelphia with New York and other northern cities. The structure has witnessed many significant events, such as John Adams crossing it to reach Philadelphia with the Continental Congress and George Washington traveling across it on the way to his first presidential inauguration. Today, it reflects the era's remarkable feats of engineering and architecture, offering visitors a chance to step back in time.

Nature, history, and art adventures near Frankford Avenue

If you ever find yourself near the Frankford Avenue Bridge, there are many other wonderful things to see and do in the area. Pennypack Park is a beautiful 1,600-acre natural oasis with historical buildings, trails for hikers, bikers, and joggers, or meadows overlooking Pennypack Creek, perfect for a picnic. If you love history, consider visiting the Betsy Ross House, about 10 miles south of the crossing, where Betsy Ross is believed to have sewn the first American flag. Touring the house is an excellent way to learn more about the story behind this iconic symbol and explore Philadelphia's rich history.

For art lovers, there's no better place to visit than Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. This non-profit organization, located about 15 miles from the bridge, is truly magical. The gallery showcases captivating folk art, and you can take a guided tour of the gardens to learn about the fascinating stories behind each exhibit. It's a moving way to experience the creative expressions that define Philadelphia's cultural landscape. Whether you're exploring the great outdoors, learning about U.S. history, or immersing yourself in the artistic wonders of Philadelphia, the Frankford Avenue Bridge area is worth visiting.