Visiting the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia

The uncracked side of the Liberty Bell. The pictures were better from that side because of the building's terrible lighting. Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The uncracked side of the Liberty Bell. The pictures were better from that side because of the building’s terrible lighting

A visit to the historic area of Philadelphia, PA just wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Liberty Bell (at least once in your life, anyway).  So even though the one person in our group who’d seen it said it wasn’t particularly worth seeing, we decided to breeze through the Liberty Bell Center any way on our way from the US Mint (0.2 miles away) over to Franklin Court (post coming soon!)  Besides, it would (and did) make great Christmas card pictures!

 


 

A modern artist's impressions of the house that once stood on the site of the Liberty Bell Center, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A modern artist’s impressions of the house that once stood on the site of the Liberty Bell Center

Coming up to the entrance is a modern artist’s rendition of the old house that used to stand on the site.  It’s pretty cool, really, but we were in a hurry, so I snapped a few pictures and moved inside.  There is a simple security process to go through (you might have to put your camera bag, backpack, or purse on the metal detector belt and empty your pockets, open your jacket, etc.  It really depends on which security guard you get.  The only thing I was embarrassed about was that I had a broken necklace in my pocket I’d forgotten to remove before leaving that morning.  Oh, well.   I don’t even think they noticed.)

Looking back out from the foyer while waiting my turn for security screening - or really, while waiting for the rest of the group to catch up. Liberty Bell Center, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Looking back out from the foyer while waiting my turn for security screening – or really, while waiting for the rest of the group to catch up 🙂

We moved quickly along the wide, dim hallway past all the exhibits.  Would you believe that the Liberty Bell was made to celebrate the end of slavery in the south and the women’s rights?  That’s what the center is claiming at the moment.  I find that downright hilarious.  In 1776, who was even thinking very hard about women’s rights?  And while there were certainly people who didn’t believe slavery was right, that wasn’t a real issue in the Colonies / US until the 1800s.  Fascinating how history changes!

 

Exhibits in the Liberty Bell Center. You have to walk past all the exhibits to find the bell, itself. Independence National Historic Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Exhibits in the Liberty Bell Center. You have to walk past all the exhibits to find the bell, itself.

Finally, behind the crowd at the end of the hall, in front of some huge windows, was the Liberty Bell.

 

The cracked side of the Liberty Bell, Independence National Historic Site, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The cracked side of the Liberty Bell. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn’t very good at all.

Everyone took turns getting their picture in front of it / getting a picture with no one in it.  When we arrived, the shades behind the bell were down, so you could barely see the windows; they went up after a few minutes, which meant you could see Independence Hall through the rain-splattered picture windows behind the Liberty Bell.  Not exactly the best backdrop.  But the flowers outside the window sure were pretty.

 

Flowers and Independence Hall. Note the rain splatters on the windows... Liberty Bell Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Flowers and Independence Hall. Note the rain splatters on the windows…

And after exiting, I couldn’t resist taking a few shots of Independence Hall!

 

Overall: The Liberty Bell Center isn’t worth it as a destination unto itself.  If you’ve never seen it and are in Philadelphia, by all means stop by.  But don’t believe every piece of history they tell you 🙂

 

Independence Hall clock tower, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Independence Hall clock tower

Total Walking Distance:  Well, you’ll have to get to the center, and depending where you park, that could be a ways.  Once you get to the site, it’s probably a good 0.25 miles up the hill, into the center, and then out the other side.  That said, the site is fully wheelchair accessible.

Time needed: You could easy rush through in about 5 minutes, assuming a crowd wasn’t in the way.  I’d say you don’t need more than about 15 minutes unless you really love to read every single history display; then give yourself more like 30 minutes.

Hours: 8:30am to 6pm in the fall and winter.  Summer hours are longer.  Check http://www.nps.gov/inde/planyourvisit/hours.htm for current hours.  Closed Christmas Day; restricted hours on other holidays.  The link above will tell of any current or upcoming closures.

.Fees: None

 

Walking Difficulty ★☆☆☆☆ (Not difficult at all)

Road to the attraction ★★★★☆

Signs ★★★★★

Interest ★★★☆☆

Price for value ★★★★☆

Would I go 100 miles out of my way for this? ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Foundation from the old house that once stood on the grounds of the Liberty Bell Center, Independence National Historical Park, Pennsylvania

Foundation from the old house that once stood on the grounds of the Liberty Bell Center

Getting to the Philadelphia Mint

From I-95 S: Take Exit 22 toward US-30 E / Independence Hall.  After 0.6 miles, turn right onto Callowhill Street for 0.2 miles.  Turn left onto N 4th Street for 0.4 miles, then turn right onto Arch Street.  Turn right onto the first cross street onto N 5th Street / N Independence Mall E.  After a mere 305 ft., take a slight right onto N 5th Street, with the US Mint on the right.   Continue 0.2 miles, turn onto Market Street, and follow the walking paths uphill to the Liberty Bell Center.

 

From I-95 N: Take Exit 22 toward US-30 E / Independence Hall.  After 0.7 miles, use the left lane to merge onto Callowhill Street for 259 ft.  Turn left on N 4th Street.  After 0.4 miles, turn right on Arch Street and (472 ft. later) turn right onto the first cross street (N 5th Street / N Independence Mall E).  After 305 ft., take a slight right onto N 5th Street; the US Mint will be on the right.  Continue 0.2 miles, turn onto Market Street, and follow the walking paths uphill to the Liberty Bell Center.

 

Fireplace replica outside the Liberty Bell Center, Independence National Historic Site, Pennsylvania

Fireplace replica outside the Liberty Bell Center

There’s no parking outside the Liberty Center, and certainly nothing free.  We found some parking just north of Chinatown, but there’s probably something you could pay for a whole lot closer.  If you’re walking, keep following the signs on the street corners; they’ll get you to the Liberty Bell quite a bit faster than I could by telling you how to do it.

 

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Thunderstorm

Monday

Mon Oct 23

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Tuesday

Tue Oct 24

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Thunderstorms likely in the morning. Then the chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. A few storms may be severe. High 71F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 100%.

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Wed Oct 25

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A mainly sunny sky. High around 65F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

 


2 thoughts on “Visiting the Liberty Bell Center in Philadelphia

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