First Bank Updates


Updates on the Project


The Independence Historical Trust is in the middle of their fundraising campaign for the First Bank Restoration project.  As we go forward with the campaign, we will post updates on the project as well as other interesting tidbits about the building on this page.  Check back periodically for new posts.


Click here for information on the project

Thank You To Our Lead Donors

H.F.”Gerry” and Marguerite Lenfest

Denise Foderaro and Frank Quattrone

Jeremy J. Siegel and Ellen Schwartz Siegel

For a listing of all of our donors to the First Bank Restoration Project, click below.

Meet our Design Team

John Milner Architects


John Milner Architects were hired in late 2019 to work on updating the outdated mechanical systems, incorporating additional restrooms and figuring out a second egress that would allow visitors to move about the building safely.  Many variations were discussed, from incorporating all the changes inside the existing footprint to building an addition to house the updates.  After much deliberation, it was decided by the working team, to build an addition off the east side of the building that would house updated restrooms, a new elevator and stairwell as well as the new mechanical systems.  This decision enables the building to be brought up to code without sacrificing the original facade on the front. The picture below shows the proposed addition to the building.


Local Projects LLC


Local Projects LLC was hired in early 2020 as the Interpretive and Exhibit Planners to the project.  Working closely with the staff at Independence National Historical Park, their task was to decide which stories would be shared in the space and how the stories would be conveyed.  Finding inspiration in the everyday people of the 18th century, the working team is focusing on telling the story of our early economy from their perspective.

The plan for the exhibits is for the first floor to be broken out into different sections, each describing a piece of our early economy.  The rotunda (as seen below) will have an exhibit on the function of the bank. On the second floor, a portion of the park’s Architectural Study Collection will be on display as well as temporary exhibit space for rotating exhibits.




July 10, 2023 | First Bank to receive $22.2 million in federal funds

The Independence Historical Trust and Independence National Historical Park announced on the steps of the First Bank that the park received $22.2 million in federal funds through the Great American Outdoors Act Legacy Restoration Fund to support the rehabilitation of the First Bank building.  The Trust will continue their fundraising campaign to raise $6.6 million for the new exhibits.




February 06, 2023 | Final Design completed for exhibits

Local Projects LLC submitted the final design documents to Independence National Historical Park for the new exhibits to go into the building once construction is completed. The exhibits will discuss the early economy of the country and its effect on the people.




February 03, 2023 | First Bank rehabilitation project to go to bid

The First Bank of the United States rehabilitation project is now posted on and is open for bidding.




June 06, 2022 | Next design phase started for the Exhibits

After a few months pause on the exhibit design process, Local Projects LLC has restarted the process and are incorporating new ideas into the exhibit design based on the scholar panel hosted by Independence National Historical Park.




January 01, 2022 | Match Met!!!

Thanks to the generosity of many donors, the Independence Historical Trust was able to match the $1 million challenge grant from Frank and Denise Quattrone.




December 10, 2021 | Historic First at First Bank

On Monday, December 13, 2021, the Independence Historical Trust will hold a press conference to announce a gift of Cryptocurrency to the First Bank Restoration project.


April 1, 2021 | Over $300,000 raised towards the Challenge Grant

In November of 2019, we received a challenge grant of $1 million from Frank and Denise Quattrone. We are happy to report, after taking time off from fundraising in 2020, we have raised over $300,000 towards that grant.  We still have a ways to go before we match it fully, so we need your support.  To donate to the First Bank project and have your donation matched, click below.


February 4, 2021 | Program with Carpenters’ Hall

On February 4, 2021, Carpenters’ Hall – one of the Trust’s historic neighbors and partners – hosted a program on the First Bank, “Nurseries of National Wealth: Carpenters’ Hall and the First Bank.” The Trust and Independence National Historical Park were happy to be partners in this presentation. In addition to the history of the First Bank and its temporary home at Carpenter’s Hall, we also discussed the current restoration project. 

To learn more about the proposed work at the First Bank, we encourage you to watch the presentation.  We would also like to take this moment and thank our all of our donors, but in particular, our lead donors. It is through their generosity that we have been able to hire the contractors to work on the design plans for the First Bank. To see a listing of our donors, please see below.


March 31, 2020 | Interpretive and Exhibit Planner Hired

On March 31, 2020, Independence Historical Trust hired Local Projects from Brooklyn to work with the National Park Service on the stories to be told at the First Bank. Their task is to find a way to discuss our nation’s early economy in a new and exciting way.  Here is a list of other projects they have worked on that may be familiar:

  • A Museum of Collective Memory – NATIONAL SEPTEMBER 11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM
  • Exploring NYC’s Past, Present, and Future – THE MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
  • and more


For more information on their work, please visit their website


January 1, 2020 | Architect Hired

On January 1, 2020, John Milner Architects, Inc. was hired to re-imagine the space of the First Bank. Even though the original foot print would not change, the project needed architects to re-configure the interior space and think of all the possibilities to bring the building to code.  John Milner architects are from Chadds Ford, PA and have done extensive work in the area. here is a short list of some of the projects they have worked on in the area:

    • Stoneleigh
    • Gettysburg-Lincoln Railroad Station
    • Deshler Morris-Bringhurst House
    • Mount Pleasant
    • and more

For more information on their work, please visit their website


November 19, 2019 | $1 Million Challenge Grant by Denise Foderaro and Frank Quattrone

We are pleased to announce that Frank and Denise Quattrone have pledged a $1 million Challenge Grant to the First Bank of the United States Restoration project.  This grant must be matched dollar-for-dollar by funds raised by the Trust.


To support the First Bank and to match the Quattrone’s Challenge Grant,

click the button below.


June 6, 2018 | $1 Million Challenge Grant matched by Jeremy J. Siegel and Ellen Schwartz Siegel

Professor Jeremy J. Siegel and his wife, Ellen Schwartz Siegel have met the $1 million dollar challenge that H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest issued to restore the First Bank of the United States.


To learn more about their donation, click below.

October 21, 2016 | H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest issues a $1 Million Challenge Grant for the First Bank

The first donor to the restoration of the First Bank of the United States is H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. He is well known in the Philadelphia area for being a generous philanthropist who supports many worth-while projects. In his letter to the organization he wrote, ” This (First Bank) is an exciting and needed project…”  We thank Mr. Lenfest for his support and look forward to finding other donors to match his challenge grant.