Independence Hall

What better place can you visit than the place that is considered the birthplace of the United States, Independence Hall. The Hall is a red brick building that was built between 1732 and 1753. It was within those walls that the Declaration of Independence was adopted. It was here that the constitution of the United States was debated, drafted, and then signed. That document is the nations oldest document in existence. This place holds so many important historic events that it is a must see when in the area of Philadelphia, PA.

In the bell tower steeple of Independence Hall, it was the original home of the Liberty Bell. And today it houses the Centennial Bell that was created for the United States by the Centennial Exposition in 1876. Two smaller buildings adjoin the Hall, Old City Hall to the East, and then Congress Hall to the West. These three buildings together on a city block is known as Independence Square.

The Hall is also pictured on the back of the US $100 bill, as well as the bicentennial Kennedy half dollar. The Assembly Room is pictured on the reversed side of the US $2 bill, from the original painting by John Trumbull entitled Declaration of Independence. The Hall is apart of American history education on the colonial era, the revolutionary era, the early republic, the abolition of slavery, the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movement, and other important periods.

It is open 365 days a year and hours varies according to seasons. Tickets are required for to gain entrance into the Hall. But you can get walk-up tickets which are available at the Independence Visitor Center on the day you choose to visit. The tour begins at 8:30 am, but you want to arrive early to avoid the long lines and waiting during peak season. Tickets can be purchased in advance via phone or online for the amount of $1.50. To get to the Independence Hall just go to the south side entrance of Chestnut Street, between 5th and 6th Street.

The guided tour begins in the courtrooms, where lawyers that represented opposing sides shared their tables and law books. George Washington’s famous chair the ‘rising sun’ dominates the Assembly Room which is decorated like it was during the Constitutional Convention. In the adjacent west wing, the original ink well that was used to sign the Declaration of Independence and an original draft of the Constitution are displayed. John F. Kennedy on July 4, 1962 gave an address here. So even in the more recent times this building has been used. And not only for Presidential speeches, it also set the stage for many protest demonstrations.

Starting July 12, 2010 the tower of the Hall will undergo a 14-month rehabilitation project. This will preserve the Hall for many generations to come and will allow to improve visitors enjoyment for the millions of visitors that visit every year. This project will replacing damaged fragments of the building ranging from the window casings to the doorways, painting, and exterior work so that it will maintain its originality and standing as it was in the 18th century. The constant restoration will continue on as needed so that this building will still be standing as it is now for decades to come.
Creative Commons License photo credit: rdesai