10TH AND ARCH STREETS: The next morning, we walked down to In- dependence Mall, where we boarded a Philadelphia Trol- ley Works bus for a narrated tour of some of the city’s many historic and cultural offerings — including the 40-foot-high Friend- ship Gate, in the heart of Chinatown.
12TH AND ARCH STREETS: Back on foot, we walked to Reading Terminal Market for lunch — cheesesteaks and Herr’s potato chips — among the more than 100 food ven- dors that serve the 1892 facility. Up- stairs, the Terminal’s elevated trainshed (pictured below) is now the convention center’s soaring, 35,000-square-foot Grand Hall.
1101 ARCH STREET: Finally it was time for the centerpiece of the press trip — the $787-million ex- pansion project that more than doubled the size of the Pennsylvania Con- vention Center. The bright, airy property now offers 680,000 square feet of exh- bit space, another 240,000 square feet of meeting space, and 87,000 square feet of ballroom space.
128 N. BROAD STREET: Directly across the street from the convention- center expansion is the gorgeous Penn- sylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which in October opened Lensfest Plaza, a 24- hour pedestrian plaza dominated by artist Claes Olden- burg’s 51-foot Paint Torch sculpture. — Christopher Durso