Independence National Historical Park
Enjoy the many historic sites included as part of Independence National Historic Park. No matter where you go on this route, history is around every corner.
Benjamin Franklin Museum
Dedicated to the life, times, and legacy of Benjamin Franklin, the Ben Franklin Museum in the internationally acclaimed Franklin Court features personal artifacts, computer animations and interactive displays exploring Franklin's life and character. Visitors of all ages will be able to immerse themselves in the 18th century life of the passionate, industrious and rebellious Benjamin Franklin.
From 1790 - 1800, the seat of the United States Congress resided here. During this time the Hall ratified the Bill of Rights, verified three new states, and preceded over the inauguration of George Washington and John Adams. Now part of Independence National Historic Park, it offers tours daily.
The Declaration House is where Thomas Jefferson rented two rooms during the summer of 1776 and drafted the Declaration of Independence. While the original house was built in 1775, the current building was reconstructed 1975. Today the top two floors have been renovated to appear as period rooms for that time, while the first floor houses exhibitions and film on the drafting of one of the nation's most crucial documents.
Encompasses the museums, structures, and historic sites within Independence National Historic Park. The Franklin Court is based at the site of where Ben Franklin resided in Philadelphia from 1763 - 1790. Ghost structures are put in in place of where his house would have stood. The site itself includes the Ben Franklin Museum as well as the Courtyard, Printing Office, and additional archaeological exhibitions.
One of the most critical locations of the American Revolution, the history of that 1776 summer stands out thanks to the guided tours run by National Parks. Independence Hall still features its preserved rooms arranged as they would have been along with important artifacts such as the original inkstand used to sign the Declaration as well as an original draft of the Constitution.
The original Liberty Bell is displayed in a magnificent glass chamber with Independence Hall in the background. The building also offers a video presentation and exhibits about this now famous symbol of liberty.
Old City Hall
Built as the original City Hall for Philadelphia in 1791 and now part of the free sites available through Independence National Historic Park. Visitors can visit the historic interiors while they learn about the users of the building, including the Supreme Court.
Second Bank of the United States
The second federally authorized Hamiltonian national bank from 1816 to 1836. Now it houses a Portrait Gallery along with People of Independence exhibition. Over 150 portraits are housed here, with more than 100 of them painted by Charles Wilson Peale.
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
The home of the Polish Patriot and later famous figure of the American Revolution now commemorates his life through a public museum. Visitors can explore his successful military career in the exhibitions, see several artifacts from the American Revolution, and even read about famous visitors. The house is open April-October on the weekends but requires no reservations.
The President's House Site
Serving as a 'White House" of sorts from 1790-1800 for George Washington and John Adams, this historical site was excavated and restored as an open-air site that features the exhibition President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation. This exhibition explores the complex paradox of nine slaves who lived in the house where the first two presidents resided.
Washington Square Park and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution
One of the original five squares mapped out in the city grid by William Penn and his surveyor, Thomas Holme. It is now owned and managed by the National Park Service and situated between Society Hill and Washington Square West. Find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution here as well as the Washington Grays Monument.