Independence Hall (c.1732-53)

Independence National Historic Park

Independence National Historic Park could rightly be called the 'Birthplace of the United States'. It was here, in the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) of Philadelphia that 56 men signed away their reputations and, potentially, their lives on a document that sought to create a republic based on the basic rights of every human being to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.' Independence Hall, the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and later, arguably more importantly, the United States Constitution is the centerpiece of the park along with another symbol of American freedom, the Liberty Bell. Along with these two sites are another 20+ original or reconstructed sites within its 55 acre boundaries. Tucked into downtown Philadelphia, with modern, high rise buildings surrounding it on all sides, the 'Old Town' of Philadelphia stands in stark contrast to the 200 years of progress that surrounds it. Facing inward, the park gives a wonderful glimpse into colonial life at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th Centuries when the nation was young and the men who were guiding it were striving to create a republic the likes of which the world had never seen. Facing outward, one looks beyond the brick buildings and cobblestone streets to see the structures of modern America which, in a way, are testimony to the success they had in the creation of this mighty nation.

The following album follows my family and I on our whirlwind tour of the park. With only 4-hours or so to spend here, we could only scratch the surface of what this park has to offer. I could spend days here, easily. This album should give you a taste of what this remarkable park has to offer and, hopefully, a sense of the humbleness we experienced to be walking in the streets and halls of the amazing people that had passed through these same spaces over 200 years before...


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