Independence - Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia
We waiting on line at the visitors center for free timed tickets to go inside Carpenters Hall. It is opened Tuesday through Sunday from 10am-4pm. We then walked behind Carpenters Hall and got in line for our tour. Initially we sat and watched a brief video and were given facts from our guide before we were given facts and information about signers and furniture in the main hall.
The First Continental Congress met in Carpenter's Hall in 1774. It then became home to Franklin's Library Company, The American Philosophical Society, and the First and Second Banks of the United States. Today, Carpenters' Hall is open to the public, provides a brief video overview and tours to the public in this Georgian building.
Set humbly back from Chestnut Street, the Hall has been continuously owned and operated by The Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia, the oldest trade guild in America, since 1770. Today it is also part of Independence National Historical Park.
I'm a history nut so this is way up on the list of places to see for me. It really excites me to be in the same room or area that people of significance once accomplished great things. This is definitely one of those places! A must see while in Philly.
The most historic building and one of its oldest. Independence Hall is famed as the birthplace of America. It is here in 1776 that the Declaration of Indepencence was ratified at the start of the American Revolutionary War.
One can visit the inside of this historic building and see the way it was and envision the likes of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and John Hancock amongst others.
Revered by the American, this old (very old, in American scale) building is a landmark in their history, and a reference to democracy.
Don't expect astonishing sights, just the authenticity and the respect for a short but brilliant history.
When Benjamin Franklin needed an architect to build his house, he turned to master builder Robert Smith of the Carpenters' Company. Smith not only belonged to the Carpenters' Company — he designed their headquarters, Carpenters' Hall. Founded in Philadelphia in 1724, the Carpenters' Company was organized to share information about the art of building, determine the value of completed work, hone architectural skills, and help indigent craftsmen. Simulating the trade guilds of 18th century England, the Carpenters' Company has held regular meetings for over 275 years, making it the oldest trade guild in the country. This organization was founded in 1724 and remains the oldest extant trade guild in the United States. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 15 April 1970 and part of Independence National Historical Park.
Located in the hub of colonial and capital Philadelphia, the Carpenters often found themselves in the center of political activity. This building housed the seven-week session of the First Continental Congress that met in 1774. Why, one might ask, did they not meet at the State House (Independence Hall) just a block away? The State House was perceived to be a hive of Tory sympathizers. In fact, some members of the Royalist press even suggested that the necks of the Revolutionary insurgents "might be inconveniently lengthened" if they did not desist in their activities.
Carpenters' Hall also served as the headquarters of the First Bank of the United States in 1791. Others to occupy the venerable rooms include: the Bank of the State of Pennsylvania, United States Custom House, Franklin Institute, Society of Friends, the United States Law Office, the Apprentice's Free Library, the Second Bank of the United States, and the Philadelphia Auction Market.
Opens: March to Dec Tu-Su 10-4; Jan and Feb We-Su 10-4
This was originally the Philadelphia County Court House, completed in 1789. From 1790 to 1800, it served as the meeting place of Congress. Among the many historical events that occured here were the second inauguration of President Washington, the first inauguration of President John Adams, the establishment of the US Navy, the foundation of the Federal Mint, and many others.
The rooms where the Senate and House of Representatives met have been well preserved, along with some of the meeting rooms and offices. Tours are free.
If you are in Philadelphia, you have to visit this place and stroll through the building. This is where United States was born. Within the walls of this building the Declaration of Independence was drafted and signed. Check for the hours of operation before you go as there are too many to list here. Tickets should be free.
The "Lights of Liberty" sound and light show through the historic center of revolutionary Philadelphia is a unique treat. Join your guide who is dressed in colonial garb, for an evening tour through Philadelphia's most revered sites. The story of the revolution is told with pictures, speeches and music. Famous people tell the story as pictures are cast upon the historic facades. You can almost imagine that you are taking part. Note that the program is free to teachers!
I didn't have enough time to visit all of the buildings but I did tour the old State House (Independence Hall). This is where the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were created and where George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army. Definitely a place every American should visit at least once in their lifetime!
The tour guide we had did a good job at telling us the historical background of the building, then answering any questions we had. The tour was a little short but, then again, there isn't much building to explore.
Independence Hall is more lovely and elaborate than I thought it would be. The interior architectural details were so gorgeous!
They are doing a wonderful job at keeping this national treasure alive for us and our future generations to visit.
When I return to Philly (hopefully in June 2006), I plan on completing my tour with the Carpenters' Hall, Congress Hall, Philosophical Hall, and Old City Hall.
The building is beautiful, full of History, and very very old. If my memory serves me right, I think one of the tour guides said it had been built in the 1730s.
You have to go through the security check point to get into the buildings, and you have to pick up a ticket for each person in your party. The tickets are free, but they are only for a specific time. You cant reserve tickets, so go pick up your tickets early in the morning.
It was origininally constructed to be the State House of colony of Pennyslvania. But the building became a site of much political growth for the new budding America. The first continental congress met there, then the articles of confederation were adopted in this building. And of course the Declaration of Independence was written and read here aloud for the first time.
Then later on the US Constitution was written and adopted.
It was truly amazing and awe inspiring to be standing in such a place where such amazing history occurred! My kids didnt get it though! That's alright, Im sure they will take their kids some day and then they will understand.
Independence Hall is, by every estimate, the birthplace of the United States. It was within its walls that the Declaration of Independence was adopted. It was here that the Constitution of the United States was debated, drafted and signed. That document is the oldest federal constitution in existence and was framed by a convention of delegates from 12 of the original 13 colonies. Rhode Island did not send a delegate. George Washington presided over the debate which ran from May to September 1787. The draft comprising a preamble and seven Articles, was submitted to all thirteen states and was to take effect when ratified by nine states. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire, the ninth state, approved it and it became effective in March 1789.
Construction of the Pennsylvania State House, which came to be known as Independence Hall, began in 1732. It was a symbol of the nation to come. At the time it was the most ambitious public building in the thirteen colonies. The Provincial government paid for construction as they went along, so it was finished piecemeal. It wasn't until 1753, 21 years after the groundbreaking, before it was completed.
Some interesting facts:
* The basement once served as the city's
* The second floor was once home to
Charles Willson Peale's museum of
* Some historians note that Ben Franklin
would occasionally trip other delegates
from his aisle seat.
* George Washington, knowing that his
opinion would carry undue weight,
contributed little to the debate over the
* Even though the days were very hot in the
summer of 1787, windows were kept
closed so others could not overhear their
Timed tickets for Independence Hall tours are available free on the day of visit, or in advance by calling 1-800-967-2283 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily (Eastern Time). Tickets can be reserved online at the web site http://reservations.nps.gov
Carpenter Company (the oldest trade guild in America, founded back in 1724!) still owns and maintain the Carpenter’s Hall.
It was built in 1770 in Georgian style by Robert Smith and used for various political sessions, the most famous of course was the first Continental Congress that met here in September of 1774.
This two story building was home to Franklin’s Library Company, The American Philosophical Society and the first and second Banks of the United States.
We liked the red brick all over the walls and took some nice pics but we were in a hurry so to catch up some more interesting sites in the city.
The entrance is free. It is open Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-16.00
Independence Hall (pic 1) is by far the most important building in American history. This is the place where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written.
It was built in 1732 in Georgian style architecture, it’s not impressive in our days but this is an “old” building for the American history. This was the State House of the Province of Pennsylvania. The old man that was our guide in the building was very informative about the place and the facts that took place here.
I have to admit that there’s nothing really special to see here but it was interesting to be in the same room where the representatives met trying to form a new independent country.
There’s no entrance fee but you have to take the timed tickets from the Visitor’s Center and be at the security check 15’ before your tour starts. It’s open daily 9.00-17.00
As you can understand it’s not just an important building but the important moments that took place here. On our way out we saw a statue two blocks to the east (pic 5), it’s called The Signer and the sign reads:
The course of histoy changed with the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the signing of the Constitution of the United States in 1787. Both events took place at Independence Hall. This 1980 sculpture commemorates the courage of those who affixed their names to these monumental documents
The main street of Philly is Market Street. Everything worth seeing in the downtown area (called "Center City" by residents) is either on this street or described in relation to it (ie, people will say, "It's just two blocks south of Market"). If I don't give a cross street, just think "Market." For instance, the Greyhound Bus Terminal is a half block north of Market.
Most buses stop around Tenth Street; trains and some buses stop at 30th Street. The latter is a HUGE railroad depot next to the Schuylkill (pronounced 'skoo-kill') River.
There is a place to store luggage at the train station, but NOT near the bus stop. If you don't want to haul your baggage on this day, stop at 30th Street Station.
If at 30th Street, follow the signs to the Market Frankford Subway Line (aka "Blue Line"). If at Tenth, get to Market and look for stairways down to this subway.
In either case, buy two tokens at the vending machines ($2.90, cash ONLY), then ride east, towards Frankford. Get off at Fifth Street, then enter the Visitor Center which is on the north side of the street. Get a free, timed ticket for a tour of Independence Hall, BY FAR the most important building in American history.
About 45 minutes before the start of your tour, go through the security check, at which you must give up any weapons, including knives. If you normally carry banned items, best to leave them with your checked luggage, as the guards will NOT store them for you. After this security check, you can get within a couple meters of the Liberty Bell. In its museum you will learn that it was completely irrelevent to the U.S.A. until about 1845. Then take your tour of the place where Americans wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
When done with this tour, you have several choices:
1) Art Museum.
2) other history exhibits and museums near Independence Hall.
3) a walk down to the South Philly neighborhoods.
(1) is my preference, but I recognize some people have no interest in an art museum. You can learn about (2) at the Visitor Center. (3) could be interesting if you prefer non-touristy visits to a city AND have no problem walking around a city that has some rough spots.
Where to get a cheese steak? Ask any two Philly residents, and you'll get a loud argument with lots of profanity. For an eight-hour visit, a trip down to Pat's or Geno's isn't worth the time or trouble. I do recommend that, while you're hear, you get a REAL cheesesteak, a pretzel from a street vendor, and (since this will be July) some water ice.
We only had a few hours in Philadelphia on our way to New York City so our visit was limited to the historic area and in particular the guided tour of Independence Hall.
The tour commenced in the visitor Centre with a 28 minute film Independence, followed by our guide introducing himself and then taking us through the various rooms of Independence House. We enjoyed the tour and it was not an overkill of American history, just enough to keep my interest and when the tour finished to feel I had enjoyed my time in Independence Hall.
With little time remaining we quickly made our way to the Bourse for lunch before rejoining our coach.