“Ghoulish prison of the Revolution”
Is the Old Exchange Building a fancy architectural jewel designed to house 18th-century assemblies? Or is it the ghoulish prison of the Revolution, the place where the martyr Isaac Hayne spent his last night? Or is it the place where George Washington greeted his fellow citizens? And there is no question that slaves were sold for close to a generation next to the very balcony from which the Declaration of Independence was read.
Looking for history? You’ve come to the right place. Unfortunately the guides are just OK, but more on that later.
Any time I get to set foot in someplace where George Washington tread, it always gives me a little chill. We don’t have much of that in California....
Lots of important history happened at the Old Exchange. Such an interesting place. During your visit, you can take a self-guided tour of the main and upper floor of the building along with a guided tour of the dungeon down below. The only drawback? For the fairly steep admission price, there’s really not much to see here. The main and upper floor have some pretty interesting pieces, but nothing that’s going to blow your mind.
Downstairs in the dungeon was more of the same, with a few mannequins thrown in, but the tour is guided. Guided by local college students. A great idea in theory. Now I’m all for letting history students guide a tour, but please can we have some who are actually good tour guides and actually seem passionate about what they’re describing. Our tour guide had the personality of a loaf of bread and my wife and I actually contemplated a daring escape from the dungeon to evade our guide.
We managed to go on " the night at the museum" the museum had characters dresses up and telling a small storyline to you. The idea behind it was much like the movie where the characters Come to life at night. The people give background to what was happening at a given time period and what might have taken place in the building.
It was very lovely and fairly well organized!
A fascinating look into Revolutionary history. You can dance in the room that President Washington danced in. The dungeon is a real dungeon complete with full size dioramas throughout. The artwork they have is stunning. Do not skip the stairwells as they have some beautiful paintings there. They also have an incredible gift shop with an impressive array of books. I had to take a quick trip back to my car after visiting because of the books I bought. The docents there are also so nice & take a lot of time to answer your questions.
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The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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