National Constitution Center - History and Facts | History Hit

National Constitution Center

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Image Credit: JG Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

About National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center is a museum dedicated to the history, development and modern meaning of the US Constitution. Located in Philadelphia, the National Constitution Center tells the story of this historic document, placing it into context including exploring important events in the nation’s past.

From traditional exhibits to films and interactive multimedia presentations, the National Constitution Center looks at the Constitution from a range of angles.

History of the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Centre is a non-profit institution which explores and explains the US Constitution through high-tech exhibits, artefacts, and interactive displays.

It is also a national town hall for constitutional dialogue, hosting government leaders, scholars, journalists, and celebrities for public discussions (including presidential debates.) It is a non-partisan organisation, bringing together thinkers from both conservative and liberal thought, and media platforms with a variety of political stances.

The centre was created by the Constitution Heritage Act, which was enacted with the aim of increasing awareness and understanding of the Constitution amongst American people.

The public space is 160,000 square feet, including galleries. The centre has nearly 76,000 square feet of exhibition space, and is made up of exclusively American materials, including 85,000 square feet of Indiana limestone, 2.6 million pounds of steel, and a half-million cubic feet of concrete.

The center opened in July 2003, and stands alongside other historic sites and attractions such as the Independence Hall and Liberty Bell. This area has come to be known as ‘America’s most historic square mile’ as a result.

The National Constitution Center Today

Today, the National Constitution Centre attracts around a million visitors a year. It offers both online and onsite civic-education programs and a study center which develops and distributes lesson plans, resources, and teaching tools.

The Signers’ hall has a collection of life-size bronze statues of the 42 Founding Fathers who signed the US Constitution, with whom visitors can pose.

The museum also includes a rare copy of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and one of only a dozen surviving copies of the original Bill of Rights.

Getting to the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Centre is a 20 minute walk from the centre of Philadelphia, via Arch St. It is also reachable in around 7 minutes through a regular bus and train service, with the MFL, 17, 33, and 48 trains departing from the centre every 7 minutes. By car, it takes around 6 minutes via Market St.

Visitors may wish to visit other historic sites that the area offers by visiting the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.