Second Bank of the United States and Carpenters’ Hall

Visit two classic buildings in Old City honored at this year’s 2024 Preservation Achievement Awards; the Second Bank of the US and Carpenters’ Hall.

Second Bank of the United States

This marvel of Greek Revival architecture designed by noted Philadelphia architect William Strickland, houses a fine collection of over 100 portraits, many of them by 18th century artist Charles Willson Peale. Originally built to be the Second Bank of the United States, the building now draws visitors to gaze upon the faces of the leaders of the Revolutionary era.

The People of Independence exhibit provides a glimpse into the lives of those who prized order and reason, yet lived in a world marked by disease, slavery, and the fear of the unknown. Portraits by artist Charles Willson Peale form the core of the collection. In the early 1800’s, these likenesses of “worthy Personages” were exhibited in Peale’s Philadelphia Museum, located on the second floor of Independence Hall.

Carpenters’ Hall

Executive Director Michael Norris of the Carpenters’ Company will lead a insider tour of this 1774 model Georgian building designed by master builder Robert Smith. Home to the Carpenters’ Company, the oldest continuous builder’s association in the States, this building incorporates exemplar details namely the cross shaped floor plan, octagonal cupola, fanlight, flemish bond brickwork, and a pedimented entrance with applied columns. 

Beyond housing the guild hall, Carpenters’ Hall was once rented to other organizations including the Library Company of Philadelphia, the First Bank of the US, Bank of Pennsylvania, Custom House, and Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Now Carpenters’ Hall and the Carpenters’ Company continues to thrive and is also open to the public for tours 300 days a year free of charge and invites 130,000 annual visitors to experience a piece of American history.

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