Philadelphia is Officially a World Heritage City

Philadelphia has been formally named a World Heritage City, the first U.S. city ever to earn that designation.

The designationwas made official through a vote by the XIII World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in Arequipa, Peru on Friday.

"I am thrilled to welcome Philadelphia into the Organization of World Heritage Cities. Over the last two years, Philadelphia has made an excellent case and is very deserving of becoming the first U.S. City to become a full member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities," Denis Ricard, Secretary General of the Organization of World Heritage Cities, said.

"Today marks the start of a new and exciting chapter in the history of Philadelphia , which is proud to become the first World Heritage City in the United States ," Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement.

"As a World Heritage City, Philadelphia is being officially recognized on the global stage for its wealth of contributions to the world as the epicenter of American democracy and for its enduring commitment to preserving the unique historical and cultural assets in our diverse community. As we celebrate this milestone, the next step is to focus on the future and how we can optimize this World Heritage City recognition to attract more people to visit, invest, work, study and live in Philadelphia ."