Located on the corner of Chestnut and 6th Streets, Congress Hall is open year round, though hours vary by season. Visitors are admitted free of charge on a first-come-first-serve basis. Ranger led programs are provided.
Constructed in 1787-1789 as the Philadelphia County Court House, this building served as the meeting place of the U.S. Congress from 1790-1800. The House of Representatives met on the main floor, while the Senate assembled upstairs.
Among the historic events that took place were the presidential inaugurations of George Washington (his second) and John Adams; the establishment of the First Bank of the United States, the Federal Mint, and the Department of the Navy; and the ratification of Jay's Treaty with England.
During the 19th century, the building was used by Federal and local courts. The building, inside and out, has been restored as much as possible to the period of time when it served as the U.S. Capitol.
Did You Know?
Invited by Congress in 1824, Marquis de Lafayette toured the United States, greeted by crowds and parades. "The Hall of Independence" was fitted up "in the most splendid manner." The event inspired the phrase “Hall of Independence,” thought to be the precursor of today’s Independence Hall.