Stomping Ground of the Founding Fathers

Philadelphia (Old City) • 15 stops

Travel in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers throughout the Historical City of Philadelphia. These locations were popular among the men during their stay within the Old City District. You will discover that these locations are in close walking distance from each other. As you travel from location to location, you will experience the history and foundation of America's history. 


Carpenters Hall
Carpenters' Hall is a treasure in historic Philadelphia. It hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774 and was home to Franklin's Library Company, The American Philosophical Society, and the First and Second Banks of the United States. Set humbly back from Chestnut Street, the Hall has been continuously owned and operated by The Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia, the oldest craft guild in America, since 1770.


Christ Church Philadelphia
An Episcopal church that was founded in 1695, first as a church of England, later rebuilt as the founding of the American Episcopal Church. Tours of the church explore the history of the building and its time during the American Revolution.


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.


City Tavern
To experience Hamilton’s Philadelphia, visitors should dine as he and the founding fathers once did in a recreation of an original 18th century tavern. With over 200 years of history within the tavern, visitors will feel transported back to the late 1700s with period food and décor. Whether for lunch, dinner or even a quick drink, such as an Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Ale, City Tavern is a quintessential restaurant to enhance your time in Old City.


Independence Hall
In 1776, delegates from the thirteen colonies met within this hall to adopt the Declaration of Independence severing their union with the British monarchy. A little over ten years later, this was also the site where the U.S. Constitution was signed, creating a government for the newly formed United States of America.


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.


Declaration House
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.


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.


Betsy Ross House
Betsy Ross is credited with the creation of the original thirteen star and stripped flag. Learn the history behind one of the most prominent symbols of the United States. Visitors will have the chance to interact with Betsy herself as well as the freed slave Phillis.


Powel House
While the Georgian home was built in 1765, its second owners gave it its name. Samuel and Elizabeth Powel famously held audiences for notable figures of the American Revolution in the lavishly decorated home. Now it's home to a museum for Colonial Revivalism and offers tours for those who wish to visit the elegant rooms and gardens.


Franklin Court
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.


American Philosophical Society
An eminent scholarly organization of international reputation, the American Philosophical Society promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through excellence in scholarly research, professional meetings, support of young scholars, publications, library resources, a museum and community outreach. This country's first learned society, the APS has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life for over 250 years.


Congress Hall
As Philadelphia served as the nation’s first capital from 1790-1800, Congress Hall was home to the first meetings of the United States Congress and the Presidential inaugurations of George Washington and John Adam. The interior of this building has authentic desks and seats arranged as they once were when the founding fathers were ratifying the Bill of Rights or admitting new states.


Hamilton’s Home
Visit the site of the Hamilton’s rented house from the period 1790-1795. Within those five years at 226 Walnut Street, Hamilton and his family enjoyed Philadelphia. This is also the location where Hamilton had an affair with the married Maria Reynolds when his wife was away. Although the physical house is gone, visitors can see a plaque detailing Hamilton's history within the house.