Since it is Labor Day weekend I wanted to post something in honor of the workforces. I choose Carpenters Hall. Little did I know the history behind the building had nothing to do the unionized carpenters that I thought I was going to write this post about. So here you have a synopsis of what I learned Carpenters Hall is and stands for!
Carpenters Hall is a two-story brick building in the old city neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA, that was a key meeting place in the early history of the United States. Set back from the street, the meeting hall was built for and is still owned by the Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia the country's oldest trade guild in the USA. In modern use the name "Carpenters' Company" is misleading; members were neither carpenters as such nor were or are they a company. Today members are prominent architects, building contractors or structural engineers. Read their mission statement HERE.
- 1724 - The Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia founded. The members were Master Builders, architects
- 1770 -1773 Carpenters' Hall was designed by Carpenters’ Company member and architect Robert Smith. A two-story brick building by the Carpenters' Company
- 1771 - First used as a meeting site by the Company on January 21st and would continue to hold annual meetings there until 1777 when the British would capture Philadelphia.
- 1773 - On April 23rd it would be used by the "Society of Englishmen and Sons of Englishmen" on St George’s Day
- 1774 - The First Continental Congress of the United Colonies of North America met here from September 5th to October 26th.
- 1774 - Light Horse of the City of Philadelphia formed, still in existence today now called First City Troop.
- 1774 -1828 Rented as a meeting place and or place of business. The building at one time or another was a library, bank, infirmary, commissary, education uses, even the presentation of concerts.
- 1828-1857 CJ Wolbert Auction Room, longest tenant to rent the building. There are some funny stories to read about the auction days on the HALL site!
- 1857 to present - The Hall has been open to the public to view as a museum of living history. It is still rented as a meeting place.
- 1874- 100 year anniversary of the building
- 1970 - It was declared a National Historic Landmark
Today, Carpenters' Hall is free to the public, visited annually by tourists from around the world.