Second Bank of the United States
A who’s who of Revolutionary War-era portraiture
This place packs a large punch in a relatively small space. Most important, it played a pivotal role in American history (see History, below). It’s also a genuine architectural treasure -modeled on the Parthenon and the standard-bearer for many subsequent American bank buildings.
Finally, it’s the repository for an extraordinary collection of portraits of the men so vital to 18th-century America’s development. Included in that list: Declaration of Independence signers Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Mifflin, and Robert Morris; and paintings of Lafayette, Patrick Henry, and Casimir Pulaski.
The Second Bank earned its place in history in 1832, when President Andrew Jackson vetoed a bill seeking to re-charter the Bank because he viewed it as an unconstitutional monopoly. Running for reelection, Jackson made his anti-bank stance a critical issue of his campaign and handily defeated opponent Henry Clay.
Open Wednesday – Sunday
Eighty-five of the portraits on view here are by Charles Willson Peale, early America’s most famous portraitist.
Kids will be intrigued by the pine sculpture of George Washington, as well as his original death mask.
In the neighborhood
401 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Holiday Inn Express
- Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel
- Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
- Hilton Philadelphia
at Penn’s Landing
- Best Western Independence Park Hotel
- Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District
- Penn’s View Hotel
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Museums & Attractions
4th and Walnut Streets (Northeast corner) Philadelphia, PA 19106
- United States Mint
- The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation
- New Hall Military Museum
- National Constitution Center
- Benjamin Franklin Museum
- Elfreth’s Alley
- Caribbean Festival
- Independence After Hours
- Independence National Historical Park
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Restaurants & Dining
16 S. 2nd St.
- PECO Multicultural Series
at Penn’s Landing
- Night Market Old City
- The Franklin Fountain
- Sonny’s Famous Steaks
- Positano Coast
- High Street on Market
- The Plough & The Stars
- City Tavern
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