Logan Square, also known as Logan Circle, is an open-space park in Center City Philadelphia’s northwest quadrant and one of the five original planned squares laid out on the city grid. The circle itself exists within the original bounds of the square; the names Logan Square and Logan Circle are used interchangeably when referring to the park. The park is the focal point of the eponymous neighborhood.
Originally called “Northwest Square,” the park had a somewhat gruesome history as a site of public executions and burial plots until the early Nineteenth Century. In 1825, it was renamed Logan Square after Philadelphia statesman James Logan.
In June 1864, temporary buildings were built on the square and it was the site of the Great Sanitary Fair, a 2-week exposition that raised US$1,046,859 to buy medicine and bandages for Union troops during the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln visited the fair.
Although the original bounds of Logan Square—18th Street to the east, 20th Street to the west, Race Street to the south and Vine Street to the north—are still intact, the park today is distinguished by its circle, constructed in the 1920s as a segment of Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It was designed by Jacques Gréber, a French landscape architect who converted Logan Square into a circle similar to the oval of the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Philadelphia even modeled its Free Library and Family Court Building after the twin buildings of the Hôtel de Crillon.
Among the sites in its immediate vicinity of Logan Square are the Swann Memorial Fountain at the center of the circle, Free Library of Philadelphia, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Franklin Institute, Moore College of Art and Design, and the Roman Catholic Cathedral-Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Logan Square Boundaries
Logan Square’s boundaries for real estate purposes are Market Street to the North, Spring Garden Street to the South, Broad Street to the East, and the Schuylkill River to the West.