The Walnut Street Theatre, 2007.
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Exterior of the Theater.

Credit: Courtesy of Charles Hardy

Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre has been in continuous operation since 1809, longer than any other American theater. Today, it is also one of only a few remaining "hemp houses" in the country, using the original grid, rope, pulley, and sandbag system that was in use two centuries ago. The exterior fa├žade, built in 1828, was designed by architect John Haviland, whose other buildings include Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary.

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