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These chambers are where the Congress of the fledgling United States held sessions until relocating to Washington, D.C. in 1801. The Bill of Rights ratification and the inaugurations of George Washington and John Adams occurred within these walls. Mahogany desks and studded leather chairs fill the first floor meeting room. The carpeting is a reproduction of the one used in the early 1790s. Upstairs, 28 of the 32 chairs and the Secretary's desk are authentic. Impressive images in the hall include the 19th-century fresco of an eagle holding an olive branch, signifying peace, and the oval sunburst design commemorating the thirteen original states with thirteen stars.
In 1789, Library Hall became the first library which opened to the public, the predecessor to the Library of Congress. The hall was refurbished during the 1950s and today holds an excess of books from the Philosophical Hall collection. Rare manuscripts of groundbreaking scientific and historic importance are on hand. The original journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and first editions of Sir Isaac Newton's Principia and Charles Darwin's Origin of Species are exhibited. The Declaration of Independence in Jefferson's own handwriting is here.
Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA) is a hub for artists of all kinds. The building dates back to 1865 and nurtures new talent and art. It is often used as a place for band practices, workshops, live performances and film screenings. The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA) has been a cultural hub for many years now and is visited by thousands of people every year.
The American Philosophical Society has an earned reputation of being a leader in the promotion of scholarly research, publication and library resources in the sciences and humanities for over 250 years and has played a significant role in American culture and history. The society, most famously started by Benjamin Franklin, has seen many prominent members like George Washington, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Robert Frost. The building, in which the society and all its resources have been housed, is just as much part of Philadelphia's history as the society. After years of financial struggles and permit issues, the Philosophical Hall was completed in 1789 and became the site of the society's meetings, library and gallery of artifacts. Today, the historic structure is a landmark in the city, a museum and still serves as the administrative offices to the prestigious APS.
The National Museum of Jewish American History chronicles the existence of Judaism in the country and its cultural impact on society. Established in 1976, this 100,000 square-foot (9290 square-meter) space is replete with over 20,000 displays that testify the Jewish-American tie dating back to the Colonial period. Learn Hebrew traditions, explore their interactive exhibits, watch engaging films at the theater, browse through artifacts and read through literary work by Jewish writers. Visit the museum store to take home postcards, curios and unique souvenirs.
There's a oldies song that asks “Where do all the hippest meet? (South Street, South Street).” That's still pretty true, except now instead of hippest, it's hipsters, as well as scenesters, college kids and young hippy-esque families. The non-chain stores, vintage clothing shops and unique art galleries bring in the younger generations in droves, giving them a break from the standard Gap and Abercrombie. Check out the Theater of the Living Arts for a nighttime concert or grab a drink at Paddy Whacks, but make sure to visit in daylight too, for a taste of famous Lorenzo's pizza and some unique shopping!