The Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank of the United States, located on 420 Chestnut Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, "People of Independence" exhibit in the Second Bank includes 185 paintings of Colonial and Federal leaders, military officers, explorers and scientists, including many by Charles Willson Peale. Designed by William Strickland, this building, built between 1819 and 1824, is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States. The Second Bank was incorporated in 1816 and was one of the most influential financial institutions in the world until 1832, when it became the center of bitter controversy between bank president Nicholas Biddle and President Andrew Jackson. The bank ceased to exist in 1836 after Jackson vetoed the bill to renew its charter. The building continued for a short time to house a banking institution under a Pennsylvania charter. From 1845 to 1935 the building served as the Philadelphia Customs House.
Short video about the Portrait Gallery in the Second Bank
Did You Know?
George Washington, the nation’s first president, ran his two administrations in Philadelphia from his rented house near the corner of Sixth and Market Streets. Wife Martha, two young grandchildren and as many as 24 servants, including enslaved men and women from Mount Vernon, made up his household.