Lonely Planet review for Other Attractions
Other attractions in this historic park include: Carpenters' Hall, owned by the Carpenter Company, the USA's oldest trade guild (1724), which is the site of the First Continental Congress in 1774; Library Hall, where you'll find a copy of the Declaration of Independence, handwritten in a letter by Thomas Jefferson, plus first editions of Darwin's On the Origin of the Species and Lewis and Clark's field notes; Congress Hall, the meeting place for US Congress when Philly was the nation's capital; and Old City Hall, finished in 1791, which was home to the US Supreme Court until 1800. The Franklin Court complex, a row of restored tenements, pays tribute to Benjamin Franklin with a clever underground museum displaying his inventions, as well as details on his many other contributions (as statesman, author and journalist) to society. Christ Church, completed in 1744, is where George Washington and Franklin worshipped.
Philosophical Hall, south of Old City Hall, is the headquarters of the American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin. Past members have included Thomas Jefferson, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.
Second Bank of the US, modeled after the Greek Parthenon, is an 1824 marble-faced Greek Revival masterpiece that was home to the world's most powerful financial institution until President Andrew Jackson dissolved its charter in 1836. The building then became the Philadelphia Customs House until 1935, when it became a museum. Today it's home to the National Portrait Gallery, housing many paintings by Charles Willson Peale, America's top portrait artist at the time of the American Revolution.