A majestic red brick building boldly sits on Philadelphia’s Chestnut Street known as Independence Hall.
One of the cornerstones of American history, this Georgian-style structure was designed in 1729 by architect Edmund Woolley and lawyer Andrew Hamilton. After numerous discussions about the location of the new State House, groundbreaking was done three years later.
Independence Hall was originally erected as a state legislative house for the colony of Pennsylvania, but later became the birthplace of a nation. Completion of the building took over two decades, consisting of a central building with a bell tower and steeple and two smaller wings with hyphens (building connectors) resulting in a total height (from the ground to steeple spire) of over 160 feet. Numerous renovations to the building have been completed since 1753, but its original beauty has remained intact.
The Declaration of Independence was approved there in 1776, the Continental Convention met there in 1787 and the Constitution of the United States was signed there in 1788. The building was later declared a national monument by the National Park Service in 1948.
There are a few little-known facts about Independence Hall which history buffs may find interesting. The building’s basement was once the City Dog Pound and the second floor was once the Peale Museum of Natural History. The windows of the building were kept closed at all times, regardless of weather conditions, to ensure the secrecy of political discussions.
For the inquisitive tourist seeking knowledge about American history, a visit to the city of Brotherly Love is highly recommended. The Liberty Bell sits across the street from Independence Hall, and a thirty-minute drive brings travelers to Valley Forge, the famed revolutionary War site.