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Philly’s First Bank building gets $8M renovation grant

The long-closed 18th century bank could see a new life as a museum.


Philly’s historic, 1700s-built First Bank building in Old City may soon see an upgrade.

The bank, built by the federal government in the late 18th century, received an $8 million state grant last week, which will allow workers to refurbish the structure and reopen it as a museum, according to

The grant, which was awarded to the Independence Historical Trust, is the largest from the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants awarded this year. In Philadelphia, $56 million total in RACP grants has been awarded to buildings and projects around the city so far.

The First Bank money will go first toward bringing the South 3rd Street building’s heating and air conditioning up to date, as well as restrooms and masonry repairs, according to

It’s a big step for the building, which has been closed to the public for years. It was constructed following the Revolutionary War, when Alexander Hamilton proposed the idea of a national bank, allowing the government more financial control in the wake of war-related debt.

The First Bank remained until the early 1800s, when it was turned into Girard Bank, according to the National Parks Service. The interior was renovated a century later and, finally, in 1955, the building was purchased by the National Parks Service.

  • Philly building that housed first U.S. central bank among winners of $150 million in state grants []
  • First Bank of the United States [NPS]

Old City

, , PA

Bank Building

N Front St & W Norris St, Philadelphia , PA 19122