This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
November 13, 2011
From journal Philadelphia - the Birth of a Nation
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
October 13, 2010
From journal Philadelphia freedom
July 4, 2010
From journal Quick Trip to Philly
New Haven, Connecticut
November 22, 2007
From journal 24 Hours in Philadelphia
by Owen Lipsett
New York, New York
July 4, 2005
Philadelphia was therefore the logical choice as the rebellious colonies’ de facto capital. The first so-called "Continental Congress," at which representatives from the 13 colonies met to formulate their opposition to the tax policies of British King George III, met in 1774 at nearby Carpenter's Hall. The representatives subsequently moved to the larger State House, meeting there for the full duration (1775-1783) of the Revolutionary War, with the exception of the winter of 1777-1778, when Philadelphia was under British occupation.
Consequently, in a city that seems to have witnessed more American historical firsts than any other, this building was party to the greatest number of all. In addition to playing host to the two most famous document signings in American history, it was also here that George Washington was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in 1775, the design for the American flag was adopted in 1777, and the Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781. It subsequently served as the new republic’s temporary capital between 1790 and 1800 (when Washington, D.C., was completed).
The excellent, free guided tour explains this history, as well as providing information on the extremely attractive and well-furnished building itself. Work to return it to its original state began in 1876, when the pleasant (and little-visited) parkland nearby was also laid out. The sumptuous restoration was quite faithful to Philadelphians’ original intentions. They hoped to make the city America's permanent capital by making the government's stay as pleasant as possible.
Their worst fears were realized when the translation of the capital to Washington, D.C., led, in short order, to the loss of Philadelphia’s role as the country’s most important city, which it has never regained. Thus, both Independence Hall and the National Historic Park as a whole recall Philadelphia’s period of preeminence, and the sense of history in the air is quite unlike any other place in the city, or country for that matter.
Admission is free but requires planning. You should first proceed to Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Chestnut Streets, where you pick up a timed ticket that enables you to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in that order. You are assigned a time for your tour and instructed to clear security at the Liberty Bell's pavilion an hour earlier. Tickets typically run out by noon in summer, so arrive early! The National Park Service’s exhaustive website offers a wealth of information.
From journal Philadelphia I: Essential Museums
January 23, 2006
From journal Veteran's Day Weekend in Philadelphia
April 9, 2006
From journal Philadelphia Story
Cary, North Carolina
July 11, 2000
From journal Road Trip to Philadelphia
Hoboken, New Jersey
November 17, 2002
Erected as the Pennsylvania State House, it was restored in 1830 and again in 1950. Today, it more closely resembles its original 1776 appearance, when the Declaration of Independence was adopted.
You get to visit a few different rooms, ie, a court, an assembly room, etc. and though the interior is rather modest, it still retains a dignified air.
Across from the hall sits the Liberty Bell in its own pavillion. The original bell was ordered from an English foundry in 1751 to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of William Penn's 1701 Charter, which spoke of the rights and freedoms of all people. Its most fateful ringing, in the steeple of the State House (now Independence Hall), was on July 8, 1776, when it summoned citizens to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
That famous crack, widely attributed to flaws in its casting and caused by a stroke of the clapper, grew bigger every time it was rung. In 1846, the Liberty Bell was moved to Independence Hall; the pavilion opened in 1976, and will be replaced by one next to the new Independence Visitor Center in late 2002-early 2003.
And across market street is the visitor's center which gives out free info on things to see and do.
While I was there they had a lights and sound show going on at night touring center city's main buildings, but don't know if that's still going on. You can also take a tour on a trolley if walking is not your thing.
From journal A year in Philadelphia
April 30, 2005
I think that Independence Hall is much prettier at night. You can take a horse-drawn carriage tour of this area at night for about $25. It is very romantic, and the carriage drivers are very knowledgable. Keep in mind that this is really great if you can handle the occaisional smell of the horses doing their business.
From journal Philadelphia - From Someone that Knows