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Carpenters' Hall Reopens to the Public!

Posted on Friday, July 7, 2023

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The Newly Refinished Exterior of Carpenters' Hall

Carpenters' Hall Reopens After Over a Year of Renovations

Carpenters' Hall has been closed to the public for over a year, dating back to April of 2022. The historic building hosted the First Continental Congress of America in 1774 and is considered the Birthplace of American Identity. In that 1774 meeting, delegates from 12 American colonies arrived as representatives to meet in Philadelphia in what became, by far, the most extensive gathering of colonists up to that point. For the first time delegates from these separate and distinct colonies began to realize that their fates were inextricably tied together and colonists began to think of themselves no longer as just Pennsylvanians, Virginians, and New Yorkers, but as Americans.

Completed in 1774, the nearly 250 year old building was in need of extensive exterior upkeep to ensure the building would last for generations to come. The original scope of the repairs included a complete renovation of existing brickwork, millwork and windows, extensive foundation repairs, and a fresh paint job. The extensive foundation repairs involved digging a large, deep trench around the entire building. This work actually turned up a number of historical artifacts from pottery fragments, nails, smoking pipes and even a pig's tooth. The pig's tooth likely came from a tannery that once operated nearby on Dock Creek, the historic creek which once ran behind Carpenters' Hall, but was submerged centuries ago. The artifacts have been collected and put into a temporary display which can be viewed inside Carpenters' Hall.

Historic Artifacts Discovered during the Renovation of Carpenters' Hall

A Fire Extended the Length of the Renovations

Just as the extenesive renovations were nearly completed a fire broke out in Carpenters' Hall on Christmas Eve of 2022. The fire has been ruled arson, but a suspect has yet to be found. All of the hard work that went into restoring this beautiful building was nearly lost, but thanks to the quick work of the Philadelphia Fire Department, Carpenters' Hall was saved. While no one was hurt, and the most significant artifacts were unaffected by the fire, it still caused upwards of a million dollars in damages. Luckily insurance footed most of the bill, including an insurance policy from 1773 that was still active! The historic Carpenters' Company is however still struggling to pay for all of the additional repairs and there is a community fundraising fund that you can contribute to on Go Fund Me.

While the fire was a terrible setback, it did actually end up increasing the scope of the planned renovations of Carpenters' Hall. What was originally only supposed to be an exterior renovation ended up becoming a complete renovation of practically the entire building and Carpenters' Hall is now looking as good as it has since 1774.

Visiting Carpenters' Hall

Now that Carpenters' Hall has reopened, it is free and open to the public all year round. From March through December, Carpenters' Hall is open Tuesday through Sunday each week. In January and February, Carpenters' Hall is open from Wednesday through Sunday each week. Operating hours are from 10AM to 4PM.

More Information on Carpenter's Hall

For more information on Carpenter's Hall you can check out our prexisting blog on Carpenters' Hall and the First Continental Congress. We also have blogs on many of the important delegates who met here in Philadelphia including George Washington, John Adams, Patrick Henry and more.

The Newly Restored Interior of Carpenters' Hall

The Newly Restored Interior of Carpenters' Hall

An Exhibit Showing How Carpenters' Hall was Constructed in 1774

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