Philadelphia Becomes First World Heritage City in U.S.

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Independence Hall
Independence Hall, Photo Credit: Photo by Paul Loftland for PHLCVB

Philadelphia recently became the first World Heritage City in the U.S., recognized for its impact on the course of human events. The city qualified because Independence Hall, the place where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed, is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The famous hall is part of the three-block Independence Mall, where the Liberty Bell, National Constitution Center and other early American buildings reside. The designation, held by about 260 cities, puts Philadelphia on par with Jerusalem, Cairo and Paris and will help bring it more opportunities for cultural collaboration and exchanges. Plus, the city’s history can be infused into an event at one of these five sites:

  1. Independence Hall: Tickets to visit Independence Hall are free, so a visit to this historic site is ideal for groups who want to see a part of American history on a budget.
  2. National Constitution Center: Groups can learn everything they want to know about the U.S. Constitution, its history and its contemporary relevance while meeting in the center’s 12,000-sf Grand Hall Lobby with views of Independence Mall in the backdrop.
  3. National Liberty Museum: Meeting planners can organize receptions for up to 350 attendees in this space that educates visitors about freedom and democracy through the eyes of heroes from around the world.
  4. The Franklin Institute: Dedicated to honor the achievements of Ben Franklin, the museum attracts groups to learn about science and technology. Function space at the base of the 20-foot Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is ideal for events.
  5. Masonic Temple Philadelphia: Located nearby the convention center, this circa-1873 headquarters for the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons Pennsylvania encompasses the Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania. The museum houses more than 30,000 items such as Benjamin Franklin’s 1779 Masonic sash.

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