Easily recognizable because of its crack, the Liberty Bell remains significant today for it's message of liberty. Abolitionists, women's suffrage activists, civil rights leaders and others have used this bell as their symbol in the fight for equality.
In 1776, the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence here. Eleven years later, in the same room, delegates to the Constitutional Convention created and signed an enduring framework of government - the United States Constitution. Although known today as Independence Hall, the building was constructed to be the Pennsylvania State House. It once housed all three branches of Pennsylvania’s colonial government.
Explore the design vocabulary of Georgian architecture as it appears in the Central Hall and Tower Stair Hall of Independence Hall. These rooms retain many of their 18th century features, such as carved masks, stair ornamentation and a Venetian window.
From 1790 to 1800, Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the U.S. During that time, the U.S. Congress met in Congress Hall. The House of Representatives met on the first floor while the Senate convened upstairs. Presidents George Washington (second term) and John Adams both took the oath of office in this building.
This building, completed in 1791, once served as City Hall for Philadelphia. During the 1790s, the courtroom was used by the Supreme Court of the United States. City Council met on the second floor while court convened below.
The President's House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation is an outdoor exhibit that examines the paradox between slavery and freedom in the founding of the nation. Presidents Washington and Adams both lived and worked, along with their households, at a home that once stood on this spot.
Working in rooms rented from bricklayer Jacob Graff, Thomas Jefferson drafted a declaration espousing the political ideas of the enlightenment philosophers. The house went through many alterations in the 1800s before being demolished. The National Park Service reconstructed it in 1975.