Philly Visitor Guide
Second Bank of the United States
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.