Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Independence Hall, Philadelphia (must see)

In 1729 it was becoming evident that Philadelphia needed a state house. In August 1732, the Scottish lawyer Andrew Hamilton showed his plans to the Provincial Assembly. The ground was broken for construction soon after in Philadelphia. The State House would be on the south side of Chestnut Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets. The cost was to be about 2,000 pounds.

The Colonial Government of Pennsylvania took occupancy of the State House immediately. Construction was designed and built by architect Edmund Woolley. The building proceeded piecemeal as funds were allocated. The State House was completed in 1753. It served as the Capitol of the Province and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania until 1799.

Independence Hall is a Georgian-style hall with a red brick facade. There is a central building with a bell tower and steeple. The center is attached by arcaded passageways to wings on either side. The steeple spire is 169 feet high. Old City Hall, Congress Hall, and Independence Hall together with Philosophical Hall, share Independence Square.

The Hall underwent several renovations in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the mid-20th century, the National Park Service carried out a reconstruction to restore the Hall to its 18th-century appearance. On the ground floor are the Assembly Room and the Supreme Court Room, separated by a vestibule. Behind the entrance is the Tower Stair Hall.

From 1775 to 1783, the Pennsylvania State House was the main meeting house of the Second Continental Congress. The Declaration of Independence was approved within its walls on July 4, 1776. Congress had to abandon the State House from time to time as British forces occupied Philadelphia. The United States Constitution was approved here in 1787.

Independence Hall has often served as a venue for speeches, rallies, and protests. Most events have been held on behalf of democratic and civil rights movements.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Philadelphia. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Independence Hall on Map

Sight Name: Independence Hall
Sight Location: Philadelphia, USA (See walking tours in Philadelphia)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Create Your Own Walk in Philadelphia

Create Your Own Walk in Philadelphia

Creating your own self-guided walk in Philadelphia is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
University of Pennsylvania Walking Tour

University of Pennsylvania Walking Tour

As America's first university, The University of Pennsylvania (aka Penn or Upenn, for short) has a history stretching back to the mid-18th century, closely bound with the city's colonial past and the birth of the United States. Initially, this Ivy League institution emerged as the College of Philadelphia, one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the US Declaration of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
Franklin Parkway Walking Tour

Franklin Parkway Walking Tour

Benjamin Franklin Parkway is a scenic boulevard running through the cultural heart of Philadelphia. Named for America's Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, this mile-long tree-lined parkway is lined with several notable sights and world-class museums.

At its heart lies Logan Circle, a charming green space centered around a picturesque fountain. This spot can provide a refreshing break on...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia

Benjamin Franklin's Philadelphia

One of the most fascinating personalities in Revolutionary America, Benjamin Franklin, while still a teenager, left his Puritan family in Boston for Philadelphia to start a new life. Indeed, his life turned out to be quite remarkable. Franklin was a writer, a printer, a philosopher, a postmaster, a scientist, an inventor, a statesman, and a diplomat – the absolute purist version of the American...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Philadelphia Old City Walking Tour

Philadelphia Old City Walking Tour

King Charles II of England owed a lot of money to Admiral Sir William Penn. He paid in 1681 by signing over lands in America to the Admiral's son, William Penn. Young William, a Quaker and a thorn in the side of the King, became landlord of present-day Pennsylvania and Delaware. William sailed up Delaware, laid out a grid, and founded Philadelphia.

The streets of the grid run east and west...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Philadelphia Introduction Walking Tour

Philadelphia Introduction Walking Tour

The sixth largest city in the United States and the largest in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia is a dynamic city heaped with old-world charm and contemporary infrastructure. Notable for its rich history, primarily as the birthplace of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Often called Philly, Philadelphia is also known as the City of Brotherly Love – a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Fairmount Park Historical Houses Walking Tour

Fairmount Park Historical Houses Walking Tour

Fairmount Park, Philadelphia's oldest park, established since 1867, is also the city's largest municipal park, sprawling over 2,000 acres adjacent to the banks of the Schuylkill River. The park grew out of the Lemon Hill estate of Henry Pratt, whose land was originally owned by Robert Morris, signer of the Declaration of Independence.

In 1972, the park was placed on the National...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.7 Km or 2.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Philadelphia Souvenirs: 13 Unique Gift Ideas from the City of Brotherly Love

Philadelphia Souvenirs: 13 Unique Gift Ideas from the City of Brotherly Love

Looking for a great gift while visiting Philadelphia? Famous for its history, arts and culture, championship sports teams, and award-winning food and drink, Philadelphia is a top-rated shopping destination. Here, you'll find an amazing selection of items to choose from - something uniquely...