Independence Hall

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Independence Hall

INDEPENDENCE HALL, a red-brick structure, near the center of Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution were signed. Built between 1732 and 1757 for speaker Andrew Hamilton to serve as provincial Pennsylvania's state house, it became the meeting place of the Continental Congress during the American Revolution and retains many relics from that era. Adjoining Congress Hall, where the House and Senate met during the 1790s, and Old City Hall, where the Supreme Court deliberated, Independence Hall completes the grouping of historically important buildings on Independence Square.

Independence National Historical Park, established by the Eightieth Congress (1948) to preserve historical properties associated with the American Revolution, is a landscaped area of four city blocks and outlying sites that encompass Independence Square, Carpenters' Hall (meeting place of the First Continental Congress), the site of Benjamin Franklin's home, the reconstructed Graff House (where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence), City Tavern (center of revolutionary-war activities), restored period residences, and early banks. The park also holds the Liberty Bell, Franklin's desk, a portrait gallery, gardens, and libraries. A product of extensive documentary research and archaeology by the federal government, the restoration of Independence Hall and other buildings in the park set standards for other historic preservation and stimulated rejuvenation of old Philadelphia.


Eberlein, Harold D., and Cortlandt V. D. Hubbard. Diary of Independence Hall. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1948.

Hosmer, Charles B. Presence of the Past: A History of the Preservation Movement in the United States Before Williamsburg. New York: Putnam, 1965.

Kammen, Michael. Mystic Chords of Memory: The Transformation of Tradition in American Culture. New York: Knopf, 1991.

John D. R.Platt/a. r.

See alsoContinental Congress ; Declaration of Independence ; Independence ; Liberty Bell ; Preservation Movement ; Revolution, American: Political History .

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Independence Hall, historic building on Independence Square, downtown Philadelphia, in Independence National Historical Park. Originally constructed as the Pennsylvania colony's statehouse in 1732, the hall was the scene of the proclamation of the U.S. Declaration of Independence (1776) and was the meeting place of the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention. The building has a small museum of historical and colonial objects; the Liberty Bell is in a separate pavilion near the hall.