News Release

Independence National Historical Park Beginning to Increase Access to Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell

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Date: September 4, 2020
Contact: Leslie Obleschuk, 215-597-1390

PHILADELPHIA - Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the City of Philadelphia’s guidelines on reopening museums, Independence National Historical Park is increasing access and services. The National Park Service is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning Wednesday, September 9, Independence National Historical Park will reopen access to the following buildings:
  • Independence Visitor Center (6th and Market Streets)
    • Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a 150-person capacity
  • Independence Hall (Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets)
    • Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors (up to 9 at a time) will be admitted every 15 minutes.
    • No tickets necessary
  • Liberty Bell Center (6th and Market Streets)
    • Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a 20-person capacity
  • Old City Hall (5th and Chestnut Streets)
    • Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a nine-person capacity
  • Second Bank Portrait Gallery (Chestnut Street between 4th and 5th Streets)
    • Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a 20-person capacity
  • Friends Quaker Meeting House (Fifth and Arch Streets)
    • Open as staffing permits, please check with NPS staff at the Independence Visitor Center.
    • Nine-person capacity when open
  • Merchant’s Exchange Building (143 S. Third Street)
    • Open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a five-person capacity
The following outdoor spaces continue to be available daily:
  • Independence Mall
  • Washington Square at Walnut Street between 6th and 7th Streets
  • Rose Garden between Walnut and Locust Streets and 4th and 5th streets,
  • Magnolia Garden on Locust Street between 4th and 5th Streets,
  • 18th Century Garden on Walnut Street between 3rd and 4th Streets
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:
  • Great Essentials Exhibit in the West Wing of Independence Hall
  • Benjamin Franklin Museum and print shop
  • Thaddeus Kosciuzko National Memorial
  • Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
  • Congress Hall will reopen in mid-October after the completion of a carpet replacement project.
“Park staff have been working to implement our adaptive recovery plan,” explained Cynthia MacLeod, Superintendent of Independence National Historical Park. “We have modified operations for tours and visitor services to keep numbers within City guidelines, installed markers to prompt social distancing, added clear protective shields at public contact stations, and prepared staff.”

The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At Independence National Historical Park, our operational approach is centered on examining each facility function and service to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and are regularly monitored. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public areas and workspaces are safe and clean.

The NPS encourages visitors to plan their visit by checking the park’s website and social media for current conditions and travel tips. The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We ask the public to be our partner in recreating responsibly, by following CDC and state and local guidance, social distancing, and wearing a face covering when social distance cannot be maintained.

We have amazing virtual programs, content, and tours of Independence National Historical Park, available 24/7 on the park’s website:, or download our app or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at @IndependenceNHP.

Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: September 4, 2020

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143 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106


(215) 965-2305

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