Philadelphia, from the 1683. It was drawn up by an Englishman named Thomas Holme, based on the direction of William Penn. Holme was the ﬁrst Surveyor General of the new colony of Pennsylvania. Holme had met Penn after having joined the Quaker movement in Ireland. Penn had received a charter for a huge tract of land in the colonies from King Charles the 2nd, as a partial payment of a debt. He wanted to create a settlement that wouldn’t need city walls, so he worked to forge good relations with the Lenape, the native people of the area. As a Quaker, William Penn had experienced persecution for his religious beliefs. But unlike many religious ﬁgures who went on to found colonies that persecuted others in turn, Penn decided he wanted his to be free of religious persecution. He envisioned a city where all people, regardless of religious belief, could live together in peace. had a somewhat utopian and for the time really progressive vision for this little “towne,” laying it out on a gridiron, to give enough land to each landholder that the buildings would be more like the countryside than the crowded cities of England. It was the most extensively pre-planned settlement in America at the time. Holme had initially named the horizontal streets after prominent landowners in the town, but as a Quaker, William Penn felt it overly prideful to have streets named after individual citizens. So he decided to name them after trees found in the area: Chestnut, Walnut, Mulberry, Pine and so on. The streets going north to south were numbered, but Penn’s Quaker heritage may have been why there is no “First” street in Philadelphia, but instead the ﬁrst one closest to the river is called “Front” -- after the Delaware Riverfront, and the numbering starts with 2nd Street. - Another street - the main thoroughfare running east to west, was named “High” street according to English convention. It was to be wide enough to accommodate the various street markets and bazaars that any thriving town of the period would play host to. But eventually, after years of people saying “I’m going to the market street” it changed officially to “Market Street” instead. This naming pattern -- a “Front” street and streets named things like Mulberry, Chestnut, and Walnut -- would be repeated in towns and cities all across Pennsylvania and the rest of the country. - The city’s streets were named not just because of an official map, but also because of the cultural sensibilities for language brought to it by the city’s founder. As a Quaker, Penn had a sort of layer of information he brought with him, through which he saw the world around him. A personal story that structured the world’s meanings in a particular way. - So, too, were the collective stories of the city’s inhabitants -- which ended up changing a lot of the names of streets in the city. High Street wasn’t the only one whose name changed. Almost half of Penn’s “tree” streets ended up having new names over the centuries, often just from the way people talked about them.