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A jewel of the Independence National Historic Park, the Liberty Bell spans layers and layers of long-standing history. In 1751, William Penn asked that the new bell being cast for the Pennsylvania Statehouse be engraved with the words, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” When the bell first rang to call citizens to the first reading of the Declaration of Independence, little did it know that it was going to change the course of the country forever. It was later dubbed the 'Liberty Bell' by abolitionists, who adopted the bell as a symbol of their fight for freedom for all Americans. A copper-clad, 2,080-pound (940-kilogram) icon of American independence, The Liberty Bell yet serves as a symbol of pride, inspiration and freedom.
Gothic and neoclassical influences dominate the features of City Hall. The statue of William Penn that resides atop City Hall's clock tower remains a Philadelphia skyline marker—until the 1980s there was a "gentleman's agreement" that no Philadelphia building would be built higher than the rim of Penn's hat. City Hall provides a majestic backdrop for shoppers and businesspersons alike as it is situated on the intersection of the city's two main arteries, Broad and Market Streets. The tour of the City Hall lasts for 1.5 to 2 hours.
The Masonic Temple is the home of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. The current building, dedicated in 1873, now houses the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania. The library contains the most extensive collection of Masonic literature in America. The museum houses a diversified collection of Masonic treasures that is unequaled and international in scope. The Masons sponsor a number of youth, educational and recreational opportunities. They have been strong supporters of Little League baseball and direct a number of scholarship and grant programs.
The red-bricked Georgian building in the midst of the 45-acre (18.2-hectare) Independence National Historical Park is one of the most recognizable historical landmarks in the nation, emblematic of the culmination of a series of epoch-making events that led to the birth of an independent America. The place where both the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787) were signed, the Independence Hall has come to be synonymous with the the ideas of freedom and democracy that the declaration is hinged on, and stands tall on Philadelphia's historic Chestnut Street, flanked by side wings and a steeple. Constructed between 1732 and 1753, the famed Independence Hall was the brainchild of Andrew Hamilton and Edmund Woolley, and also served as the meeting place for the Second Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention. The iconic Liberty Bell is located right around the corner, although its original home was Independence Hall's bell tower.
Known as the oldest residential street in the country, Elfreth's Alley boasts nearly 30 houses dating from the early 18th to 19th centuries, most generally middle-class homes of merchants and small businessmen. The colonial lodgings give visitors an appreciation of the endurance of the craftsmanship of the American forefathers. The rustic edifices inspire the flavor of the Revolutionary Days. Families who pledge to preserve the look of the structures currently occupy the houses. Home #126 features period furniture and other changing exhibits.
Franklin Square is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of five landscapes planned by William Penn in the late 1600s. It was formerly called Northeast Square, and later renamed in 1825 to honor Benjamin Franklin, a pioneer of the country as well as inventor and activist. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 14, 1981.