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Carpenters' Hall

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Title: Carpenters' Hall  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Independence National Historical Park, Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia, Continental Congress, Timeline of Philadelphia, Robert Smith (architect)
Collection: American Revolutionary War Museums in Pennsylvania, American Revolutionary War Sites, Buildings and Structures in Independence National Historical Park, Buildings and Structures on the National Register of Historic Places in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Continental Congress, Cultural Infrastructure Completed in 1773, Former National Capitol Buildings in the United States, Historic American Buildings Survey in Pennsylvania, Museums in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, National Historic Landmarks in Pennsylvania, Old City, Philadelphia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Carpenters' Hall

Carpenters' Hall
Location 320 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Built 1770-1774[1]
Architect Robert Smith
Architectural style Georgian
Governing body Privately administered by the Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia
NRHP Reference # 70000552
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 15, 1970[2]
Designated NHL April 15, 1970[3]

Carpenters' Hall is a two-story brick building in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that was a key meeting place in the early history of the United States. Completed in 1775[1][4] and set back from Chestnut Street, the meeting hall was built for and is still owned by the Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia, the country's oldest extant craft guild. The First Continental Congress met here. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 15 April 1970 (#70000552)[5] and is part of Independence National Historical Park.


  • History 1
  • Construction and design 2
  • Gallery 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Carpenters' Hall was designed by architect Society of Englishmen and Sons of Englishmen.[7][8]

The First Continental Congress of the United Colonies of North America met here from September 5 to October 26, 1774, since the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) was being used by the moderate Provincial Assembly of Pennsylvania. It was here that Congress resolved to ban further imports of slaves and to discontinue the slave trade within the colonies, a step toward phasing out slavery in British North America.[9] The building has a long history as an assembly place and has been the home to numerous tenants in the arts, sciences and commerce. The meeting hall served as a hospital for both British and American troops in the Revolutionary War, and other institutions in Philadelphia have held meetings in Carpenters' Hall, including Franklin's Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society, the First and Second Banks of the United States. It was also robbed of $162,821 in 1798. The federal Custom House in Philadelphia was located at Carpenter's Hall between 1802 and 1819, save for a brief interruption between January and April, 1811.[10]

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970.[3][11]

Numerous dignitaries have visited Carpenters' Hall, including Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.[7]

Today, Carpenters' Hall is free to the public, visited annually by more than 150,000 tourists from around the world.[12] The structure still serves the purpose for which it was built: a meeting place for the Carpenters' Company and union meetings.

Construction and design

Within these Walls Henry, Hancock, & Adams inspired the Delegates of the Colonies With Verve and Sinew for the Toils of War

Inscription over south doorway of Assembly Room[13]

The Carpenters Company was founded in 1724, but had no meeting house of their own, resorting to rented tavern rooms for their meetings. Carpenters Company members finally selected a new building site in 1768 on Chestnut Street, a few hundred feet from Benjamin Franklin's home. Robert Smith submitted the plans for the design, but did not supervise the construction of the hall. The decision to proceed with construction was made January 30, 1770. Construction was completed in August 1774.[14]


See also



  1. ^ a b c , p.29
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ , p.34
  5. ^ Statement of Significance
  6. ^ "Architectural elements"
  7. ^ a b c
  8. ^ J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott. 1884. History of Philadelphia, 1609–1884, Philadelphia: L. H. Everts & Co., Vol. I, p. 233.
  9. ^ National Register Amendment "Underground Railroad and Anti-Slavery Movement" (September 2000) Prepared by Anna Coxe Toogood, Historian, INDE
  10. ^
  11. ^ and Accompanying 7 photos, exterior and interior, from 1967 and 1974. PDF (830 KiB)
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Peterson, Charles E. 'Robert Smith: Architect, Builder, Patriot, 1722-1777. The Athenaeum of Philadelphia: 2000. 112-116.

External links

  • Carpenters’ Hall visitors information and history
  • Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. PA-1398, "Carpenters' Company Hall", 10 photos, 1 color transparency, 3 measured drawings, 11 data pages, 2 photo caption pages
  • Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. PA-1398-D, "Carpenters' Company, Rule Book (carpentry manual)", 39 photos, 1 photo caption page
  • The Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia published 1887

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