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Constitution Landmarks

Independence Hall - Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Independence Hall Philadelphia
Photo by Joey Phoenix, 2012

Independence Hall is arguably one of the most significant, if not the most significant Constitution landmark. It is the site of the signing of not only the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but also the United States Constitution in 1787.

The government of Pennsylvania built the colonial legislature in 1753 as the state house for the province of Pennsylvania. Alexander Hamilton had been on the design committee, commissioned to find a location and oversee the project.

It was the principle meeting place for the Second Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention. It was also the original home of the Liberty Bell.

Independence Hall currently sits on Chestnut Street in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Faneuil Hall Boston Marketplace
Faneuil Hall, 1902

Faneuil Hall - Boston Massachusetts

This popular Boston landmark is the center of tourism in downtown Beantown. Located a stone's throw from government center, and a short walk from the Historic North End, a trip to Boston wouldn't be complete without a stop for some clam chowder (chowda') in Faneuil Hall.

Since 1742, the site has always been a place for food, shopping, and meeting of the minds - and most importantly, a hotspot for revolutionary activity. Samuel Adams, James Otis, and many others made their voices heard in front of the market, arguing for separation from Mother Britain. A statue of Sam Adams now stands in front of the site, a tribute to his powers of oration, charismatic personality, and influence over the early stages of the American War for Independence. During the War, Fanueil Hall was also used as a theatre.

Colonial Williamsburg - Williamsburg, Virginia

Colonial Williamsburg Virginia
Governor's Mansion, by Joey Phoenix, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg is a remarkable place because it is a living-history museum, and a visit there is akin to a step into the world of the eighteenth century. Actors in period clothing wander through out the open air town, talking to visitors and creating an authentic historic experience. It is a perfect recreation of the original town, which was once the capital of Virginia and the seat of the architectural movement known as the Colonial Revival.

Williamsburg has special importance too for American Revolutionary History, as the historic Raleigh Tavern was a popular meeting place for diplomats, statesmen, and revolutionaries - people like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry frequented the establishment. Other places of note include the Governor's Mansion (as shown above) and the Capitol.

Old North Bridge - Concord, Massachusetts

Old North Bridge Boston
Recreation of the Old North Bridge

The famous Shot Heard Round the World took place just outside of Boston at the Old North Bridge. The pedestrian walkway, a replication of the one which stood during the battles of Lexington and Concord, is a part of the Minute Man National Historic Park.

USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) - Charlestown, Massachusetts

USS Constitution Boston
Old Ironsides Goes Underway

The USS Constitution, affectionately called "Old Ironsides," is the naval spirit of the United States Constitution. President George Washington named the vessel after the founding document - as she was one of the six original frigates constructed by the Naval Act of 1797. The Ship, although still in official service, is open to the public.

Library of Congress - Washington D.C.

Library of Congress Washington DC
Library of Congress after Nineteenth Century Reconstruction

This magnificent landmark in the heart of the nation's capital, the Library of Congress, is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States, and for all purposes, the national library of the United States of America. Although originally built in 1800, and housed in the White House, most of the collection was destroyed during the War of 1812. To help bolster the collection, and to overcome his own debt struggles, Thomas Jefferson sold his entire personal collection to the library in 1815.

The Library of Congress primarily serves as the research library to the United States Congress. It is open to the public, to anyone who wants to walk through, but only government officials may check out books.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Share-Alike License 3.0

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