State House. Philadelphia


This lithographic print shows the State House (Independence Hall) on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets in Philadelphia. Completed in 1753, to designs by Edmund Woolley and Andrew Hamilton, it first served as the colonial legislature for Pennsylvania. The building is best known as the site where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776. The Greek Revival facade shown here was added by architect John Haviland in 1830. The print is by John Caspar Wild (circa 1804-46), a Swiss-born artist and lithographer who arrived in Philadelphia from Paris in 1832. He produced paintings and prints of Philadelphia and other American cities, including Cincinnati, Saint Louis, and Davenport, Iowa. His works are important historical records of these cities before the era of large-scale industrialization and rapid urban growth. The image originally appeared in 1838 as Plate 11 in “Views of Philadelphia,” published by Wild & Chevalier, Wild’s brief partnership with J.B. Chevalier, a French-born lithographer. Later in 1838, the lithographic stones for the views were acquired by John T. Bowen (circa 1801−circa 1856) and reissued in 1838, and in 1848 with hand coloring.

Last updated: February 26, 2014