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Independence Hall

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (National Historic Landmark)

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Independence Hall is considered the birthplace of the United States. Both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed in this building. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Independence Hall served as the first capitol building for the United States. It was originally built to serve as the state house for Pennsylvania. Independence National Historical Park also includes the Liberty Bell Center and the Benjamin Franklin Museum, along with a visitors center that includes theaters, exhibits, and a gift shop. Independence National Historical Park is a great place to spend a day learning all about the roots of American history.

In the Assembly Room, visitors can witness the very place where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were both signed
From 1790 to 1800 Philadelphia was the Capital of the United States.
Independence Hall as viewed from the South entrance. Wikimedia Commons.
This painting, entitled The Congress Voting Independence, circa 1780s-1790s, was used as a reference for restoring the Assembly Room to its early American appearance. Courtesy of ExplorePAHistory and Atwater Kent Museum.

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"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal..."

Construction on Independence Hall began in 1732, originally designed to be the Pennsylvania State House and house all three branches of its colonial government; the legislative, the judicial, and the executive branches. During the Second Continental Congress, which later became the Constitutional Convention, the state of Pennsylvania loaned out their assembly room for the convention to meet.  It was there at Independence Hall in 1776 that George Washington was named Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.  In 1781, the Articles of Confederation were adopted in Independence Hall. And in 1787, our founding fathers and statesmen from the newly independent country signed the U.S. Constitution, the same constitution that is in place today.  The living document has been amended but the ideals of the founding fathers still lives on.  

In Independence Hall, visitors can explore the building by taking a guided tour.  The guided tour takes the visitors though a number of rooms that are set up in the way that they would have looked during the Revolution. The Assembly Room, which is the most famous, visitors can see the exact room where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed. Across the hall from the Assembly Room is the Courtroom of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  

The second floor of the building houses the Long Gallery, Governor's Council Chamber, and the Committee of the Assembly Chamber. The Long Gallery, originally served as a reception area for visitors waiting to see the Governor. It also was the host of parties and dinners hosted by the Governor.  During the British occupation, the Long Gallery was used as a hospital to care for wounded American prisoners of war. The Governor's Council Chamber was where Pennsylvania's Supreme Executive Council met during the 1700's. The Committee of the Assembly Chamber was used as a room for meetings and military storage during the 1700's and was the office of the U.S. Marshal during the 1800's. 

Admission is by tour only. Timed entry tickets are required March - December. A limited quantity of free tickets are available each day at the Ranger's Desk at the visitor's center. Same day ticket distribution begins at 8:30 a.m. Arrive no later than 8:45 a.m. for the best selection of tour times. Tickets may also be reserved in advance online using the link to the NPS website below or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Sources

National Park Service. "History and Culture." Independence National Historical Park. Accessed December 2017. https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/historyculture/index.htm

Address
520 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone Number
(215) 965-2305
Hours
Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Extended hours in summer- until 7 p.m. from June 28 - September 1.
Tags
  • Architecture and Historical Buildings
  • Political and Diplomatic History
This location was created on 2013-11-19 by Melissa Canfield .   It was last updated on 2017-12-12 by Pamela Curtin .

This entry has been viewed 1490 times within the past year

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