Here in Philly, July Fourth involves an entire weekend devoted to epic fireworks displays, grilling, and beer. But most of all, it’s a time to reflect on the founding of our country, which took place in this historic city back in 1776. As an ode to that historic moment, here’s a look back at Independence Hall, which was built in 1753 and is the very place where our founding fathers put quill to paper and signed the Declaration of Independence.
↑ 1752: This perspective view of Independence Hall (called the Statehouse at the time) and the map of Philadelphia was created by Nicholas Scull and George Heap.
↑ 1776: This engraving by John Serz shows Independence Hall as it looked in 1776.
↑ 1858-1863: This painting by Ferdinand Richardt was painted in the mid-1850s and is part of the White House Art Collection.
↑ 1876: These two illustrations depict Independence Hall 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The second illustration shows crowds gathering during the American Centennial Festival.
↑ 1895-1910: This photo of Independence Hall looking from Independence Square was taken during this period.
↑ 1920-1950: Here is the same view of Independence Hall from Independence Square about a decade later, now with a bronze statue of Commodore John Barry, who was considered the "Father of the Navy of the United States." It was unveiled in 1907.
↑ 1964: An aerial view of Independence Mall from the 1960s, years before the National Constitution Center stood across the way from Independence Hall and the midcentury modern Rohm and Haas building stood to the left.
↑ 1980: Here’s a view of Independence Hall one year after it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The recognition ultimately played a big role in Philadelphia’s recent designation as a World Heritage City in 2015.
↑ Today: An aerial view of Independence Hall after a $300 million redevelopment that involved a redesign of the mall, and the addition of three buildings to the national park, including the Liberty Bell Center, the National Constitution Center, and the Independence Visitor Center.
- Map: Where to watch Philly’s July 4 fireworks [Curbed Philly]
- 12 American Revolution sites to see in Philadelphia [Curbed Philly]
- Philadelphia Parks: Then and Now [Curbed Philly]