Independence HallApprox. Time: 2 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

Independence Hall, a World Heritage Site (Inscribed in 1979), is considered the birthplace of the United States of America, as it was here that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, the Articles of Confederation uniting the thirteen (13) colonies were ratified in 1781 and the Constitution setting out the nation's basic laws was adopted in 1787. The building was designed by Andrew Hamilton to house the Assembly of the Commonwealth (colony) of Pennsylvania. Finished in 1753, it is a modest brick structure with a steeple that was intended to hold a 2,080 pound bell. The bell, however, has cracked twice and stands silently on the ground in a special shelter (a reproduction now hangs in the steeple). Independence Hall is important not for its architectural design but for the documents drafted and debated here that formed the democracy of the United States.

The Liberty Bell, residing in the historic Independence Hall, is an emblem of freedom. It chimed to summon residences to the fateful reading of the Declaration of Independence. Known for its large crack that is blamed on shoddy casting, the Bell is one of the most visited landmarks in Philadelphia.

Designations:
Underground Railroad Network to Freedom - 2001
National Historic Landmark --Banks &Exchange - 1962-2001
NRHP Amendment for Underground Railroad - 2001
National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) - October 15, 1966
World Heritage Site - 1979