Let there be light: Philly streets to brighten via $500K federal grant

The area from Independence Hall towards Jeweler’s Row will see the infrastructure improvements ahead of major celebrations in 2026.

Brendan Boyle speaking a podium, with a giant check

Rep. Brendan Boyle presenting a check for Center City District. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

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A $500,000 federal grant will help fund lighting improvements near Philadelphia’s historic district. The money comes from a federal program that gives discretionary funding to members of Congress.

“It enables members of Congress to designate approximately ten designees of federal funds that do demonstrable admirable work in communities,” said Congressman Brendan Boyle.

In addition to improving visibility, the new lights will also improve safety in the area, said Prema Gupta, president & CEO of the Center City District.

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“I think it helps with crime, but it also helps with feelings of safety and security. I think we all feel more comfortable,” Gupta said. “We have gone back to basics, and we want everyone to come to Center City and feel clean because it’s safe because it’s well lit and because our teams are welcoming.”

The lighting will be installed on South 6th Street between Chestnut and Walnut Streets, just adjacent to Independence Hall.

The work will be done in time for the 250th celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026, which is expected to bring many events to the historic district and beyond.

“This is an area that’s going to be very high visibility in 2026 because it’s very much right where Independence Hall is, and I think that really connecting Independence Mall with the wonderful historic asset that Jeweler’s Row is will be great,” Gupta said. “It will certainly be great for our economy, but also to make it a more vibrant and interesting walk for tourists visiting our city in 2026 and beyond.”

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