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Library Hall (The Library Company of Philadelphia)

Posted on Friday, August 10, 2018

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Library Hall

The Library Company of Philadelphia, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, was housed on the site of Library Hall from 1790 to 1880; the Library Company served as the Library of Congress from 1774 to 1800. In the 1880s, the Library Company moved to 1314 Locust Street, and the original Library Hall was then demolished. In the 1950s, a reproduction of Library Hall was constructed on its original site. Today, Library Hall houses some of the American Philosophical Society’s collections, and the Library Company still functions as a prominent research library on Locust Street.

Take note of the statue of Ben Franklin above Library Hall’s main entrance. Franklin is wearing a toga. That’s because Franklin always said that if he were ever to be represented in a statue, he would want to be shown like the Romans were because the Romans had a republic, which was the kind of government Franklin hoped our new country would have. He’s also holding a king’s scepter pointing downwards to represent his disdain for the monarchy!

Additional Information

Library Hall
105 S. 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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