Visiting Congress Hall

Color photo of the interior of Congress Hall, looking down on the House of Representatives with three rows of desks and chairs in a horseshoe shape facing a raised dais with one large chair.
Built as the Philadelphia County Courthouse, Congress Hall was home to the U.S. Congress from 1790 to 1800, when Philadelphia served as the temporary capital of the United States.  Presidents Washington and Adams were both inaugurated in this building.

NPS photo

 

Location
Enter Congress Hall through the security screening area at 5th and Chestnut Streets. After clearing security, walk past Independence Hall and the Great Essentials to reach Congress Hall (near the corner of 6th and Chestnut Street).

 

Hours and Fees
The building is open daily: 9 am - 5 pm. Congress Hall is closed on all major federal holidays except Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran's Day.

Admission is FREE.

 
Ticketing
No tickets are required to visit Congress Hall. Entrance is on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
Tours
Entrance is by tour only, March through December. The tour lasts approximately 20 minutes. From April through October, tours are every 20 minutes. In November, December and March, tours are every 30 minutes. The building is self-guided in January and February, but rangers are available to answer questions.
 
Accessibility
The first floor of Congress Hall is accessible for those with mobility impairments. There is a photo album showing images of the upper floor for those not able to climb the stairs to the second floor. For those with hearing impairments, the "Birthplace of a Nation" pamphlet provides written information about the rooms shown on the tour. Learn more about the accessibility services offered throughout the park on our website.
 
Security
Visitors must pass through a security screening area to visit the buildings on Independence Square, including Congress Hall. The screening area is located adjacent to Old City Hall, near the corner of 5th and Chestnut Streets. To maximize your visit to the park, and minimize your security screening time, the park recommends that you bring only small bags, if necessary. The fewer items you have to be checked, the more time you will have to enjoy the buildings on Independence Square. No weapons, pepper spray, or pocket knives are permitted through security.
 
Images and Historical Information
Check out these images of Congress Hall. Additional information about Congress Hall is available on our website.
 

Last updated: April 13, 2017

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Mailing Address:

143 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phone:

(215) 965-2305

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