Independence Hall

Color photo of Independence Hall and its West Wing, showing a large two story red brick building with central clock tower and adjoining smaller two story red brick building.
Independence Hall, Chestnut Street facade

NPS photo


Independence Hall is the birthplace of America. The Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were both debated and signed inside this building. The legacy of the nation's founding documents - universal principles of freedom and democracy - has influenced lawmakers around the world and distinguished Independence Hall as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Construction on the building started in 1732. Built to be the Pennsylvania State House, the building originally housed all three branches of Pennsylvania's colonial government. The Pennsylvania legislature loaned their Assembly Room out for the meetings of the Second Continental Congress and later, the Constitutional Convention. Here, George Washington was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in 1775, the Articles of Confederation officially took effect in 1781, and Benjamin Franklin gazed upon the "Rising Sun" chair in 1787.

There is much history to explore - from the Georgian architecture to fugitive slave hearings - in addition to the founding of the nation. Planning a visit? Learn more about hours, tickets and programs.

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    Last updated: July 20, 2023

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    143 S. 3rd Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19106



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