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Independence Hall

Independence Hall

The Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States (1787) were both signed in this building in Philadelphia. The universal principles of freedom and democracy set forth in these documents are of fundamental importance to American history and have also had a profound impact on law-makers around the world.

Independence Hall

La Déclaration d'indépendance et la Constitution des États-Unis ont été toutes deux signées dans ce bâtiment de Philadelphie, respectivement en 1776 et 1787. Les principes universels de liberté et de démocratie énoncés dans ces documents sont fondamentaux pour l'histoire américaine et ont eu un profond impact sur les législateurs à travers le monde depuis leur adoption.

صالة الاستقلال

في هذا المبنى من فيلاديلفيا جرى التوقيع على إعلان استقلال الولايات المتحدة ودستورها عامي 1776 و1787 تباعاً. وتشكّل مبادئ الحريّة والديمقراطيّة العالميّة الواردة في هذين المستندين ركناً من أركان التاريخ الأمريكي ولقد خلّفت أثراً عميقاً في المشرّعين عبر العالم منذ اعتمادها.

source: UNESCO/ERI



source: UNESCO/ERI

Индепенденс-холл (город Филадельфия)

Декларация Независимости и Конституция США были подписаны в этом зале в Филадельфии, соответственно, в 1776 и 1787 гг. Универсальные принципы свободы и демократии, заложенные в этих документах, имеют исключительную важность для истории Америки, а также являются ориентиром для законодателей во всем мире.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Independence Hall

Situado en Filadelfia, el Independence Hall es el edificio donde se firmaron la Declaración de Independencia y la Constitución de los Estados Unidos, en 1776 y 1787 respectivamente. Desde la aprobación de estos dos documentos, los principios universales de libertad y democracia proclamados en ellos han sido fundamentales en la historia de los Estados Unidos y han ejercido una gran influencia en los legisladores del mundo entero.

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

Independence Hall

De onafhankelijkheidsverklaring (1776) en de Grondwet van de Verenigde Staten (1787) werden beiden ondertekend in de Independence Hall in het centrum van Philadelphia. De universele grondbeginselen van vrijheid en democratie opgenomen in deze documenten, zijn van fundamenteel belang voor de Amerikaanse geschiedenis en hebben ook diepgaande invloed gehad op wetgevers wereldwijd. De Independence Hall - ontworpen door Andrew Hamilton - is een bescheiden bakstenen gebouw met een toren waarin een bel hangt van 2.080 pond (943 kilo). Het gebouw is door de jaren heen vaak gerestaureerd, onder andere door de neoklassieke architect John Haviland in 1830.

Source: unesco.nl

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Independence Hall © OUR PLACE
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The Declaration of Independence was adopted and the Constitution of the United States of America framed in this fine early 18th-century building in Philadelphia. These events, which took place respectively in 1776 and 1787, were conceived in a national context, but the universal principles of freedom and democracy set forth in these two documents have had a profound impact on lawmakers and political thinkers around the world. They became the models for similar charters of other nations, and may be considered to have heralded the modern era of government. Independence Hall was designed by attorney Andrew Hamilton in collaboration with master builder Edmund Woolley to house the Assembly of the Commonwealth (colony) of Pennsylvania. Begun in 1732 and finished in 1753, it is a dignified brick structure with a wooden steeple that once held the Liberty Bell. The building has undergone many restorations, notably by architect John Haviland in the 1830s and under the direction of the National Park Service beginning in the 1950s, returning it to its appearance during the years when the new country’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution were debated and signed. In the Assembly Room, the momentous events that occurred there are explained and their international impact as well as the spread of democracy are discussed.

Criterion (vi) : The universal principles of the right to revolution and self-government, as expressed in the United States of America’s Declaration of Independence (1776) and Constitution (1787), which were debated, adopted, and signed in Independence Hall, have profoundly influenced lawmakers and politicians around the world. The fundamental concepts, format, and even substantive elements of the two documents have influenced governmental charters in many nations and even the United Nations Charter.


Within the boundaries of the property (the city block known as Independence Square) are located all the elements necessary to understand and express the Outstanding Universal Value of Independence Hall. The actions to adopt the Declaration of Independence and frame the Constitution took place within this building, which has been preserved as a historic site since the early 19th century. It is in the highest possible state of preservation, both structurally and externally, and has benefited from careful and comprehensive conservation studies and expert technical advice. Steel supports were carefully inserted in the mid-20th century to stabilize the structure, and interior restoration was based on thorough research. The impacts of heavy visitation are carefully managed. The 2 ha property is of sufficient size to adequately ensure the complete representation of the features and processes that convey the property’s significance, and does not suffer from adverse effects of development and/or neglect. There is no official buffer zone, but the 18  ha Independence National Historical Park provides equivalent protection.

Also in Independence Square but not contributing to the Outstanding Universal Value of Independence Hall are the two-storey East and West wings and the brick arcades linking them to the Hall, which were built in 1897-98 as approximate representations of long-vanished subsidiary structures that originally housed offices and connecting passageways; Congress Hall, built in 1787-89 as a county court house; and Old City Hall, built in 1790-91.


Independence Hall is substantially authentic in terms of its forms and designs, materials and substance, and location and setting. Almost all of the exterior elements of the Hall’s structure and design are original material; the interior spaces that housed significant events are intact, as are some of the original interior finishes. The wooden steeple of the bell tower was erected in 1828 to replace an earlier structure. The larger National Historical Park surrounding the property preserves low-scale 18th and 19th-century structures that reinforce the Hall’s context.

The most significant pressures on the authenticity of the property relate to the large number of visitors, the degradation of the building due to air pollution and acid rain, and commercial development in the vicinity.

Protection and management requirements

Independence Hall is owned by the City of Philadelphia and administered by the National Park Service as a part of Independence National Historical Park under a formal agreement with the City. The 1948 law creating the National Park has as its express purpose the preservation of the historic structures. Inclusion of Independence Hall in the National Park system gives it the highest possible level of protection, as it is maintained by the federal government. Furthermore, as the country’s most important historical site, its preservation will always be of paramount importance, and periodic work is undertaken to further protect it.

The property is managed at the national level by the National Park Service. A comprehensive General Management Plan for the National Historical Park (1998) incorporates the World Heritage status of the Hall as an important aspect, and addresses interpretation as well as issues such as carrying capacity. In the 1990s, new fire detection and suppression and security systems were added. Visitor screening and other enhanced security measures were implemented in 2002, and a major rehabilitation project for the steeple was completed in 2013.

Sustaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property over time will require managing the large number of visitors, the degradation of the building from environmental pollutants, and urban development pressures in the vicinity.