Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Capital of the United States (Selection of Philadelphia)

Congress Hall

Photograph of Congress Hall

For ten years, members of both the House of Representatives and Senate met in the same building at the corner of Sixth and Chestnut Streets. (Visit Philadelphia)

Visit Philadelphia

For ten years, members of both the House of Representatives and Senate met in the same building at the corner of Sixth and Chestnut Streets.
The building was constructed in 1787 as one of two buildings added to the State House Square. Originally designed as the Philadelphia County Courthouse, it was converted in 1790 for the use of the federal congress when Philadelphia became the nation’s capital through the Residence Act of 1790.
After the federal government moved to Washington, D.C., in 1800, Congress Hall became a county municipal building. It was restored to its 1796 appearance through multiple renovations starting in 1913 and continuing through the twentieth century. The building became part of Independence National Historical Park, authorized by Congress in 1948.

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