National Banks, Philadelphia
The Second Bank of the United States was designed by William Strickland - who was also responsible for the classical facade of the Philadelphia Exchange nearby. Clearly inspired by the Parthenon, the Second Bank helped to inspire a national "style" of using toned-down classical motifs as a symbol of republican virtue.
The building now houses the Portrait Gallery of the Independence National Park complex. It's free and open daily.
This is the Chestnut Street entrance to the "Bank" - in between 4th and 5th streets.
The United States is built on money - lots of it. And having a firm financial footing was essential in the early days of the republic. Without the monetary manipulations of Alexander Hamilitons, it's questionable whether the United States could have stayed United. This neoclassical structure housed Hamilton most significant project, the First Bank of the United States. Completed in 1797, it's a reminder of the time when Philadephia (and not New York City) was the financial as well as political capital of the country.
The Bank losts its federal charter in 1826, but continued to operate as a financial institution until 1926. Now used for park offices, it is closed to the public.
Walk along Chestnut Street & stop by the PORTRAIT GALLERY IN SECOND BANK OF THE UNITED STATES. Here, one get to see many life portraits of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams & John Hancock painted by 18th century artist Charles Willson Peale.
There is a US$2 admission fee & the money raised helps to protect & interpret park resources.
Official Site: NPS.gov.
Second National Bank (1818-24) by William Strickland was a frequent target of the PENGUIN
Fondest memory: In background stands the former State House, now called Independence Hall
Favorite thing: First National Bank of the US(1795-97), by Samuel Blodgett and James Windrim. It was created by Alexander Hamilton and proved a frequent target of the Riddler