Mayor Nutter took the lectern for a final news conference Thursday, and in a tone that was kind of sad, kind of tired, got the business out of the way first.

Dressed down a little bit, without a tie, he encouraged people - for the eighth year in a row - to come out for the Mummers Parade and reminded them to stay safe.

Then, in the ornate Mayor's Reception Room, where portraits of the city's former leaders hang, questions shifted to his legacy and how the job changed him.

"I've become just much more personally emotional during the course of the last eight years," he said at the end of the news conference. "And I still don't exactly really know what that's about, but I find myself in any number of moments possibly on the verge of tears, or just really kind of welling up about all kinds of things.

"It's not that I didn't have feelings before, but something has happened during the course of these eight years that is very different than anything I've ever experienced."

Philadelphians will have all sorts of opinions about him, Nutter said, but he can hold up accomplishments - a lower crime rate, a higher high school graduation rate, a more transparent government.

Nutter, 58, said the job has given him a greater appreciation for the difficulties people face, particularly the families of public servants killed in the line of duty and the children he has watched grow up without a parent.

He thanked the 27,000 employees in city government - joking that the venue was the perfect opportunity to thank each by name. He also spoke of citizens he has seen exhibit goodness in a city not always known for it.

"I've seen an incredible level of kindness from our citizens that goes way above and beyond," he said.

On his last business day in office, Nutter still had announcements to make:

The federal government will commission a study on putting a cap over I-95 to eliminate barriers to Penn's Landing.

The city will commit $13.4 million to fund eight affordable-housing developments.

The unemployment rate has dipped to 5.9 percent, the lowest since early 2008.

Earlier in the day, a truck loaded with Nutter's belongings waited outside City Hall with boxes marked "Nutter," framed pictures, and a few shovels from ground-breakings.

Among his mementos is the Bible from his first inauguration.

"This job, whatever your faith is, you will fall back on it more while doing this job. Because some days, that's all you have," he said.

When the news conference ended, Nutter walked through a cluttered hallway of rolled-up carpets, boxes, and desks, and before dipping into his office, stayed in the hallway to shake hands with reporters as they left.

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