Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia
Independence Hall and its neighboring historical buildings make up America's most historic square mile. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are only two of the attractions found here. The first stop in this historic area should be the Visitor Center off Dock Street near 3rd Street. A 28-minute orientation film, plus numerous brochures and maps will guide the visitor along a walking tour lasting one to two days. Most park buildings are open from nine to five and during summer some buildings remain open later. For current schedules, please phone or visit the website. There are many cobblestone streets, so wear comfortable footwear. If coming by car, consider parking in a garage (at 2nd and Gatzmer Streets) and always lock your doors. For a truncated tour, visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Pavilion first. However, budget at least one full day to take in this park.
Independence Hall is flanked by Congress Hall, in which the first Congress of the United States met from 1790 to 1800 and George Washington and John Adams were elected President, and Old City Hall, which was never in fact the town hall but was the seat of the Supreme Court from 1791 to 1800.Congress Hall was the site of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from 1790 to 1800 when Philadelphia was the nation's capital.
Philosophical Hall Library
Official site: www.amphilsoc.org
Address: 105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3386, United States
On the section of Chestnut Street to the east of Independence Hall are a number of other historic buildings: the Second Bank of the United States (1824-41), now containing a collection of portraits of leading figures in the fight for independence; New Hall, with the Marine Corps Memorial Museum (recalling the role of the Marine Corps in the fight for independence); on the opposite side of the street the Philadelphia Marine Museum (history of shipping on the Delaware River and in Delaware Bay); beyond this Pemberton House, a reproduction of the home of the Quaker Joseph Pemberton, now occupied by the Army-Navy Museum; and beyond this again Carpenters' Hall (No. 320), in which the First Continental Congress met in 1774, now a museum of the carpenter's craft.
Official site: www.ushistory.org/carpentershall/
Address: 320 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-0270, United States
St George's United Methodist Church
St George's United Methodist Church is America's oldest Methodist church. In 1763, the church belonged to a German Reformed Congregation that became financially strapped. Eventually it was sold to the Methodists in 1769.The site hosted the first three conferences on American Methodism in the mid-1770s and was an early publisher of books in Philadelphia. In keeping with William Penn's tradition of religious and racial toleration, blacks were allowed to worship at St. George's. However, black services were held separately and at five in the morning.The church sired the first licensed black Methodist preacher while another black preacher, Absalom Jones, founded the African Protestant Episcopal Church after a rift with the church.
Official site: www.historicstgeorges.org
Address: 235 North Fourth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1122, United States
Old City Hall
Built as the City Hall of Philadelphia, the building was used by the U. S. Supreme Court from the time the building was completed in 1791 until 1800 when the Federal Government was moved to Washington D. C. The municipal government and courts occupied the building during the nineteenth century.Independence Hall is flanked by Congress Hall, in which the first Congress of the United States met from 1790 to 1800 and George Washington and John Adams were elected President, and Old City Hall, which was never in fact the town hall but was the seat of the Supreme Court from 1791 to 1800.
Atwater Kent Museum
Philadelphia's history museum was founded in 1938 by radio pioneer A. Atwater Kent. The museum was originally the home of the Franklin Institute and now incorporates the recently closed Norman Rockwell Museum. It is a hands-on museum geared toward children with historical objects. Hats, model electric cars, old children's costumes and other artifacts are on display.Visitors can also see the worlds largest map of Philadelphia. The Experience Philadelphia! gallery features a 40-by-40-foot Rand McNally map of the region covering thefloor.
Official site: www.philadelphiahistory.org
Address: 15 South Seventh Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2313, United States
The Independence National Historical Park contains a number of buildings, which have played a great part in the history of the United States. The Visitor Center, beside which is the tower containing the Bicentennial Bell, a gift from the British government on the bicentenary of the United States, is at the corner of 3rd and Chestnut Streets.The Bicentennial Bell was a gift from the British during America's Bicentennial in 1976. It hangs in the Visitor's Center 130-foot bell tower.
Germantown White House (Formerly Deshler-Morris House)
Deshler-Morris House was constructed in 1772-3 and served as the summer home of David Deshler, a successful Philadelphia merchant as well as the headquarters for British General Sir William Howe during the Battle of Germantown in October, 1777. President George Washington resided here during the yellow fever epidemic of 1793. Four Cabinet meetings were held at the house during this time, which included heated debate on the country's position in relation to the war between England and France.
Official site: www.nps.gov/demo/
Address: 5442 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144-2224, United States
American Philosophical Society Museum
The American Philosophical Society (APS) Museum is located in Philosophical Hall (completed 1788). Changing exhibitions highlight the mingling of history, science and art from the Society's diverse collections. Among the important documents on display are Thomas Jefferson's hand-written copy of the Declaration of Independence and Lewis and Clark's journals as well as scientific specimens, patent models, portraits, maps, rare books and manuscripts.
Official site: www.apsmuseum.org
Address: 104 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, United States
Bishop White House
Rev. Dr. William White, the first Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania, lived in this house on Walnut Street from its completion in 1787 until his death in 1836. White chose its location because it was midway between the two churches he served, Christ and St. Peter's. The house has been restored and many of the items on display actually belonged to Bishop White. The interior reflects the lifestyle of upper-class Philadelphians during the late 18th century.
Free Quaker Meeting House
The Free Quaker Meeting House was built in 1783. It's one of the oldest meeting houses in the city. The Free Quakers fought for the American cause during the Revolutionary War. Today, the descendants of the Free Quakers meet here annually to decide upon the distribution of funds generated by rental of the hall and income invested for charitable purposes. Among the exhibits is the 5-pointed star tissue pattern that Betsy Ross used in making the first American flag.
Official site: freequakers.org/meeting-house.aspx?g=2
Address: Arch Street, United States
Second Bank Portrait Gallery
Address: 420 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, United States
Christ Church Burial Ground
Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
Edgar Allan Poe, the great American writer, his wife Virginia, and mother-in-law rented several homes in Philadelphia, but only the last house has survived. Poe lived at this home in 1843-44 when his stories, The Black Cat, The Gold Bug and The Tell-Tale Heart were published.There are 5 exhibit areas, an audio-visual presentation on Poe's life and tours of the historic house.
Official site: www.nps.gov/edal/
Address: 532 North Seventh Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123-3502, United States
Independence Park Visitor Center
The Visitor Center is the starting point of any tour of the Independence National Historic Park. Tickets for nearby attractions (Bishop White House and Todd House) can be obtained here, as well as maps, brochures and other tourist literature in 12 languages. A 28-minute film, "Independence", is a good introduction to this historic area.
B. Free Franklin Post Office and Museum
The B. Free Franklin Post Office and Museum commemorates Franklin's 1775 appointment as the first postmaster general. It is the only post office operated by the U.S. Postal Service that does not fly the American flag, it is named after Franklin's unique signature.
To the north of Independence Hall extends the park-like Independence Mall, laid out in 1948. On its east side, at 55 North 5th Street, is the National Museum of American Jewish History. North of the museum, in Arch Street, is Christ Church Benjamin Franklin's
Address: 143 South Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, United States
National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center features more than 100 interactive and multimedia exhibits, photographs, sculpture, text, film and artifacts. Visitors gain insight into basic constitutional facts and interpretation as well as Supreme Court cases.
Official site: www.constitutioncenter.org
Address: 525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, United States
New Hall Military Museum
The New Hall Military Museum is devoted to the Army, Navy, Marines and early American military history. On display are hand grenades, a blunderbuss, swords, and a scale model of the man-of-war, Raleigh. New Hall was built in 1791 by members of the Carpenters' Company.
Old St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church
Old St Joseph's Church founded in 1733 is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia. It was enlarged in 1821 and rebuilt in 1838. The interior features a painting of the Crucifixion behind the main altar. There is also a graceful curving balcony -- a rarity for a Catholic church.
Official site: www.oldstjoseph.org
Address: 321 Willings Alley, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3897, United States
Declaration (Graff) House
Declaration House (also called Graff House after its original builder/owner) was Thomas Jefferson's home while he wrote the Declaration of Independence. On display is a recreation of the two rooms Jefferson rented on the second floor.
Thomas Bond House
Official site: www.thomasbondhousebandb.com
Address: 129 South Second Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3039, United States
Built in 1775, Todd House it was occupied from 1791-3 by lawyer John Todd, and his wife Dolley Payne. The Todd House reflects the lifestyle of eighteenth-century Philadelphia's middle class.
At Independence Square on July 8, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was first read in public.
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Map of Philadelphia Attractions
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