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Starting on the other side of the Schuylkill River, we look for the Zoo Balloon in the sky and head to the Philadelphia zoo, the oldest in America. The entrance pavilions, the work of noted architects Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt were erected between 1873 and 1875 and form a Victorian entrance to a modern zoo. The Philadelphia Zoological Garden covers 42 acres and now houses more than 1,600 kinds of mammals, birds and reptiles. There is a special hummingbird house where the birds live in a lush tropical setting, a children's zoo and a monorail for aerial tours.
Situated in the Zoo grounds is The Solitude, home of John Penn (1760-1834), grandson of the Founder. Called "the poet," Penn left America in 1788, and after his death his brother Granville and nephew, who were the owners until Fairmount Park acquired it in 1867. It was the last holding in this country of the family that once "owned" the state, and even parts of Delaware. It is now used as offices for the Zoo.