Independence NHP: Congress Hall

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In 1790, Philadelphia was chosen as the temporary capital of the newly formed United States. The recently constructed Philadelphia Courthouse was loaned to the Federal Government as a meeting place for the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Our ranger first took us into the large courtroom on the first floor which was used by the House of Representatives.  The furniture here is not original as the desks were auctioned off once the capital moved to DC. The NPS reacquired some of the originals, but they are in the upstairs rooms. So we were able to sit at these authentic looking desks with ink wells while the ranger talked.
Next we went upstairs to see the room used by the Senate as well as some other smaller committee rooms where large paintings of France’s King Louis 16th and Marie Antoinette adorn the walls. These were gifts from France after the American Revolution ended.
In 1800, Washington, DC became the US capital and Congress Hall reverted to serving as the Philadelphia courthouse.

Location: 6th & Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Designation: National Historical Park

Date NPS designation declared: 1951

Date of my visit: August 2017


7 thoughts on “Independence NHP: Congress Hall

  1. I’m just catching up with blogs. Thank you for liking my latest posts. I liked this place better than I actually liked Independence Hall. If you get a chance, visit the Museum of the American Revolution in Phily. It tells the story of the American Revolution from four sides, American , British , Native American and Slave. I loved it and want to see it again,

    1. Thanks for commenting! Yes, we thought the tour of Congress Hall was way more engaging. I have not been to that museum, nor inside a few of the other historic buildings like Betsy Ross house. Another road trip is in order 😃

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