Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Hall Building Replicas

As we celebrate our nation’s independence this weekend, I thought I’d explore a souvenir of a famous building steeped in history. Many different souvenir building versions of Independence Hall have been created through the years. In the past, I wrote about a plaster WPA replica of Independence Hall. Large cast iron coin banks in the shape of Independence Hall were made for two different anniversaries of the building. The first one was done in 1876 for the centennial. Then they were remade for the Bicentennial in 1976. Another large early version is a cast iron coin bank is usually painted gold with red tips. It measures 7 inches tall, 11 inches long and weighs 2.5 lbs. Printed on it is “pat Oct 19, 1879.” Two of these recently sold on ebay, one for & 850 and the other for $760. A replica coin bank of just the metal bell tower were also created. A red and white plastic versions were made with a slot in the roof and measure 5 1/4" high by 5" by 3 1/2". There have also been glass versions, salt & pepper shakers replicas and a pot metal version from the 1960’s are also found from time to time. Pencil sharpeners of Independence Hall are still readily available. The real Independence Hall is a U.S. national landmark located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets. Known primarily as the location where the Declaration of Independence was debated and adopted, the building was completed in 1753 as the Pennsylvania State House for the Province of Pennsylvania. It became the principal meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783. The United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were both signed at Independence Hall. The building is now part of the larger Independence National Historical Park and listed as a World Heritage Site.Independence Hall is a red brick building, built between 1732 and 1753, designed in the Georgian style by Edmund Woolley and Andrew Hamilton, and built by Woolley. Its highest point is 135 feet (41 meters) above the ground. Its construction was commissioned by the Pennsylvania colonial legislature and it was initially inhabited by the colonial government of Pennsylvania as their State House. Two smaller buildings adjoin Independence Hall: Old City Hall to the east, and Congress Hall to the west. These three buildings are together on a city block known as Independence Square, along with Philosophical Hall, the original home of the American Philosophical Society. Independence Hall is pictured on the back of the U.S. $100 bill, as well as the bicentennial Kennedy half dollar. The Assembly Room is pictured on the reverse of the U.S. two dollar bill, from the original painting by John Trumbull entitled Declaration of Independence. Did You Know that From 1790 to 1800 Philadelphia was the Capital of the United States? During that time, city, county and state government offices were all on the same block of Chestnut Street.

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