Congress Hall

Color photo of the Senate chamber, with two rows of wooden desks facing a single chair on a raised dais that sits in front of large windows.
The U.S. Senate met on the second floor of Congress Hall, while the House of Representatives sat in the larger room below.

NPS photo

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.

Listen to this Congress Hall audio to learn more about the events that took place here. Get visiting information, including hours and location, on our website.


Last updated: August 23, 2016

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