As armed revolt was fomenting throughout the 13 colonies, it was within the city limits of Philadelphia that the seeds of liberty were sown.
Independence National Historical Park, located in downtown Philadelphia, is often referred to as the birthplace of our nation, and the Constitutional Convention held here in 1787, assured the future of the young nation. The delegates argued at Independence Hall, boarded, and dined at City Tavern.
Philadelphia was the nation's capital during George Washington's second term, so the U.S. Congress and U.S. Supreme Court met here for 10 years while awaiting the construction of both the new cpaital and new capitol, in Washington, D.C.
Graff House, City Tavern, Pemberton House, and Library Hall were reconstructed on their original sites. The Liberty Bell Pavilion and Franklin Court are contemporary structures erected for the Bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence celebrations.
At the park, the Liberty Bell, an international symbol of freedom, and Independence Hall, a World Heritage Site, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were created.
In addition, the park interprets events and the lives of the movers and shakers involved in Philadelphia’s years as capital of the United States from 1790 to 1800, including George Washington and John Adams.
A section of the park dedicated to Benjamin Franklin is Franklin Court, which marks the site of Franklin's House and his grandson's print shop. Neither building exists today. The Underground Museum houses Franklin memorabilia telling the story of the man and his contributions.
The Independence National Historical Park was first authorized in June 1948, and established on July 4, 1956. In March 1959, it incorporated the Old Philadelphia Customs House, designated a national historic site in May 1939, which was the Second Bank of the United States. The National Park Service administers the park.
As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, Independence Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in October 1966, and was designated a World Heritage Site, in October 1979.
Independence Square, is the location of Independence Hall, Congress Hall, where the U.S. Congress met, and Philosophical Hall, home of the American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin.
To the north of the square lies Independence Mall, containing Old City Hall, home of the U.S. Supreme Court until 1800, and the Liberty Bell Center, where the famous bell rests.
A number of structures occupy the area east of the square, including the Second Bank of the United States, Carpenters' Hall, and the First Bank of the United States, operated between 1797 and 1811.
Independence Hall on Chestnut Street was originally built as the Pennsylvania State House, in 1732, but became famous after first the Declaration of Independence and later the Constitution of the United States was ratified here. In May 1775, the Second Continental Congress convened here.
Congress Hall was the Philadelphia County Courthouse and later the site of the Federal Congress. George Washington and John Adams held their inaugurations here.
Graff House, known as “The Declaration House,” is a reconstruction of the site where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. Library Hall housed America's first circulating library (established by Ben Franklin) and is now the home of the library of the American Philosophical Society.
The Thaddeus Kosciuzko National Memorial features a reconstruction of the living quarters of Kosciuzko, a Polish patriot who fought with Washington and helped design the United States Military Academy at West Point.
The Free Quaker Meeting House was built in 1783, and is one of Philadelphia's oldest meeting houses. The Free Quakers supported and fought in the Revolution.
Christ Church, built between 1727 and 1754, is considered an outstanding example of 18th-century American architecture.