Carpenters' Hall History Resources
The Battle for Philadelphia
War burst upon Philadelphia less than three years after delegates to the First Continental Congress concluded their sessions at Carpenters' Hall.
The Unlikely Spy
The story of Chevalier Julien-Alexandre Achard de Bonvouloir, a French spy, and his secret meeting with Benjamin Franklin at Carpenters' Hall that led to the French Alliance.
Washington's Army Marches Past the Hall
Twice the Continental army marched in review past Carpenters' Hall; In August, 1777, one month before their disastrous rout at Brandywine, and four years later en route to the victory at Yorktown.
The Quiet Revolutionary
The Revolution divided friends and families over the question of loyalty to Great Britain and the non-debatable issue with Quakers — pacifism.
Answering the Call to Arms
In the Revolution, the Hall became an arsenal for the War Department — and home to its first secretary, Henry Knox.
All in One Room
Robert Smith, General Washington, Napoleon, General & Mrs. Custer, Stanley & Livingstone and hosts of others can be found rubbing shoulders in a single room of Carpenters' Hall.
The Federal Procession of 1788
The Federal Edifice, designed by Charles Willson Peale, was the centerpiece of this celebration of the newly-ratified Constitution.
The Yellow Fever Connection
In 1793, Spring had been exceptionally wet, the summer equally hot and dry. People complained of the unusually large number of mosquitoes...
America's First Bank Robbery
In the midst of the Yellow Fever plague, in 1798, an enormous sum was taken from the Bank of Pennsylvania's vault in Carpenters' Hall. It was obviously an inside job and prominent blacksmith Patrick Lyon was put on trial.
An 18th-century "Safety Net"
Retirement, pensions, life insurance and government assistance of any sort were unknown to 18th-century Philadelphians. Not so, however, for members of the Carpenters' Company.
Celebrations at the Hall
Celebrating the Carpenters' Company and remembering the First Continental Congress. Read about these festive affairs.
The Civil War Years
The Carpenters' Company support for the Union was unequivocal even before the firing on Fort Sumter. Here is the story of Carpenters' Hall and the Civil War.
A 19th Century Album
Carpenters' Company members were schooled in the tradition of brick and wood frame construction. Now they became equally expert with stone, concrete, cast iron and structural steel.
The Story of Carpenters' Hall
Designed by Company member Robert Smith, built between 1770 and 1774, it's home to the Carpenters' Company. It was was the largest hall in Philadelphia.
The Puzzle Takes Shape
Compiling a building's history resembles a jigsaw puzzle. Pieces of the puzzle are to be found in documents of many kinds as well as in the fabric of the structure itself.
Gardens and Gardeners
For more than a century, gardens have brightened the Hall's façade, thanks to the efforts of custodians with green thumbs and, later, landscape contractors. Learn about the gardens at Carpenters' Hall.
Company Member Stories
Evan Peters, Pump Maker
Wells required a pump maker who fabricated, installed and repaired the mechanism for lifting water to the surface.
Five generations: builders of Philadelphia's first skyscraper, Connie Mack Stadium, and more.
Five Buildings and a Train
From Philadelphia's earliest days, craftsmen who formed the Carpenters' Company were already constructing their community.
Houses in uncountable hundreds became the signature construction of Company members.
Following the Money
General Washington could afford to serve without pay ... but he had a bookkeeping nightmare!
A Family Affair
Sons by the dozen have followed in their fathers' occupational footsteps.
Thomas Nevell: "An ingenious House Carpenter"
During his 76-year life Thomas Nevell created a new roof and spire for Independence Hall and designed Mount Pleasant in Fairmount Park. He founded the city's — and probably the nation's — first architecture school.