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American Revolution Center

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NEWS
August 9, 2011 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
Bruce Cole, the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities who has been president and chief executive of the American Revolution Center for the last 21/2 years, has resigned. Cole, who is returning to writing and scholarship, will continue to serve as an adviser to the center's board. Last fall, the center completed a land-exchange deal with the National Park Service, and it has now taken over the site of the former Independence National Historical Park archaeology laboratory at Third and Chestnut Streets.
NEWS
July 18, 2008
When surveys show that more than half of the nation's high school seniors cannot name a single Revolutionary War battle, it's clear that the war for American independence is being lost today in the retelling. That's why the continued delay in moving ahead on a planned Revolutionary War museum in Valley Forge is so frustrating. This is a museum that could educate the unschooled about the nation's founding struggles, as well as entertain and inspire history buffs and tourists alike.
NEWS
March 9, 2008
It's not the first time in the history of the republic that the prospects for victory at Valley Forge look bleak. Two centuries after Gen. George Washington's troops trudged through the snow without shoes, the fight today is between men in suits. At least this time the nation's survival isn't hanging in the balance. The current battle is over where to build a Revolutionary War museum. Right now, no one is winning. After years of discussion, delay and discord, the dispute has lasted longer than the Revolutionary War itself.
NEWS
July 12, 2012 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
The Oneida Nation of New York is giving $10 million toward construction of the Museum of the American Revolution, planned for Third and Chestnut Streets. The gift, one of the largest ever from the Oneidas, staunch supporters of George Washington's Continental Army, comes a month after museum backer H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest announced a $40 million museum challenge grant. The American Revolution Center seeks to raise $150 million for construction of the museum, programming, and an endowment.
NEWS
February 29, 2008 | By Nancy Petersen INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
With millions of county tax dollars at stake, Montgomery County officials are becoming increasingly concerned about the direction the American Revolution Center is taking. "All we are hearing is malarkey," said Montgomery County Commissioners Chairman Jim Matthews. "People like straight talk, and I sense we really did not have straight talk from the beginning. " Matthews said he found it "troubling" that the museum plan has evolved from a structure within Valley Forge National Historical Park to a museum complex with a hotel and conference center in Lower Providence Township, especially since it is supported with public funds.
NEWS
April 22, 2009 | By Albert Paschall
Ask most folks where Valley Forge is, and you'll get the local answer: "Down the street from the King of Prussia Mall. " Well, anyway, that's where Pennsylvania designated Valley Forge to be when it was declared a state park in 1893. Given all the unwarranted controversy over a proposed new museum at the location, it's important to remember that there doesn't seem to be any record or detailed map of all that the encampment involved. We know that Gen. George Washington kept lookouts on Rebel Hill, near Conshohocken, to watch for British soldiers coming from Philadelphia.
NEWS
July 7, 2009
With their exciting new strategy to build in Philadelphia near Independence Hall, the determined founders of the embattled American Revolution Center museum won't have to weather another harsh winter at Valley Forge. That's remarkably good news and a surprising turn for this important project that has been delayed too long by disputes over where best to build. In Valley Forge, the project's advocates faced a long, hard slog. At least, it wasn't as bad as the Continental Army's 1777-78 winter encampment.
NEWS
April 7, 2009 | By Jeff Gammage INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Depending on your point of view, the structure was going to be a scholar's dormitory that would enhance historical understanding of Valley Forge - or a hotel that would speed the commercialization of a treasured national park. Either way, its construction is now in serious doubt. The head of the American Revolution Center, a controversial museum complex planned for 78 acres of private land inside the park, yesterday announced a voluntary 15-year moratorium on building a particularly contentious piece of the project, the conference center.
NEWS
April 12, 2009 | By Jeff Gammage INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It's been a nasty, hateful and, at times, personal fight, one that seemed destined to go on forever. But last week, momentum swung sharply toward those striving to build a controversial museum on private land inside Valley Forge National Historical Park. Key tactical concessions and legal victories, building upon favorable government votes, have moved the American Revolution Center closer to being constructed at the Lower Providence site where its supporters want it to go. "When you get a court order in your favor, the momentum shifts," said Paul Decker, head of the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau and a studied observer of the drama.
NEWS
July 13, 2009 | By Jeff Gammage INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Among a thousand questions raised by the American Revolution Center's move from Valley Forge to Philadelphia is this: What happens to the bell? No, not the Liberty Bell. It's staying put. The Bicentennial Bell. The bell that hangs outside the Independence Living History Center, designated as the future home of the Revolution Center, known as ARC. The Bicentennial Bell is a replica of the Liberty Bell, cast at the same London foundry, transported to the United States, presented by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976 - and promptly forgotten.
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NEWS
February 17, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Deeply dissatisfied with Robert A.M. Stern's design for a Revolutionary War museum near Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Art Commission has taken the unusual - and welcome - step of asking the prominent New York architect to go back to the drawing board. Although the commission did not reject the $150 million project outright, it sent a clear message to the organizers Feb. 5, saying that the faux-colonial home planned for the Museum of the American Revolution Center did not measure up to authentic colonial-era buildings nearby.
NEWS
October 19, 2012 | By Art Carey, For The Inquirer
When he speaks about the men and women who participated in the War of Independence, Scott Stephenson refers to them as the "First Greatest Generation. " What they accomplished in opposing the tyranny of Britain, securing freedom for the colonies, and establishing a new nation based on noble ideals is at least as impressive as the feats of those warriors who protected the United States from the imperial ambitions of Germany and Japan during World War II. Unfortunately, the heroes of the American Revolution are so remote historically, and their achievements have become so mythologized, that figures like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson have become "marbleized" - elevated to near-saintly status, scrubbed of humanity and such mortal characteristics as fear, doubt, frustration, and fatigue.
NEWS
July 18, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
The Oneida Nation of New York was an early ally of George Washington's Continental Army, so it's entirely fitting that the nation now comes to the aid of raising a Philadelphia museum exploring the struggle for American independence.   Two centuries ago, the Oneida brought bushels of corn to starving troops at Valley Forge. Today, they're bringing millions of dollars — in the form of a $10 million grant announced last week at an event in Washington, cheered by officials of the American Revolution Center, the group that is developing the Museum of the American Revolution at Third and Chestnut Streets.
NEWS
July 12, 2012 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
The Oneida Nation of New York is giving $10 million toward construction of the Museum of the American Revolution, planned for Third and Chestnut Streets. The gift, one of the largest ever from the Oneidas, staunch supporters of George Washington's Continental Army, comes a month after museum backer H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest announced a $40 million museum challenge grant. The American Revolution Center seeks to raise $150 million for construction of the museum, programming, and an endowment.
NEWS
June 13, 2012 | Inquirer Editorial
The years-long campaign to launch a museum in Philadelphia honoring the soldiers of "America's original ‘greatest generation' " reaches another milestone Tuesday. Having secured a prime location two years ago at Third and Chestnut Streets in the city's historic district, the museum planned by the American Revolution Center now has a dignified, red-brick design by renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern that should offer visitors an inviting setting both day and night, given its distinctive, lighted cupola.
NEWS
June 13, 2012 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, fresh from the successful opening of the Barnes Foundation gallery on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway - where he was a key supporter of the foundation's move from the suburbs to the city - has now focused his financial energy on building a new history museum near Independence Mall. At a news conference Tuesday, the American Revolution Center is expected to unveil New York architect Robert A.M. Stern's design for a new Museum of the American Revolution at Third and Chestnut Streets, and in support of the push for the museum, Lenfest will announce a $40 million challenge grant.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 2012 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Robert A.M. Stern seems to be everywhere these days. Besides running Yale University's architecture school and producing architecture tomes as fat as two-by-fours, he oversees a large and successful architecture factory in New York City that can turn out buildings in any style you need. It has been doing a big business in Philadelphia.   His firm's substantial output here includes one of his finest buildings ever, the Comcast Tower, a handsome modern obelisk. He's also responsible for a truly awful one, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies on 34th Street.
NEWS
June 12, 2012 | By Stephan Salisbury, INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, fresh from the successful opening of the Barnes Foundation gallery on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway - where he was a key supporter of the foundation's move from the suburbs to the city - has now focused his financial energy on building a new history museum near Independence Mall. At a news conference Tuesday, the American Revolution Center is expected to unveil New York architect Robert A.M. Stern's design for a new Museum of the American Revolution at Third and Chestnut Streets, and in support of the push for the museum, Lenfest will announce a $40 million challenge grant.
NEWS
March 9, 2012 | By Christine Bahls, For The Inquirer
If only the canteen could talk. Although the dark oak container looks inconsequential next to the original Declaration of Independence, it carries the inscription, "Carried at the Battle of the Brandywine. " The date: Sept. 11 - of the year 1777. In other words, it's a big deal. So are thousands of other artifacts - including a fowling firearm carved from curly maple; Washington's tents at Valley Forge; a list of soldiers from Massachusetts, some barely old enough to shave - destined for display at the Museum of the American Revolution, slated to open in Old City in 2015.
NEWS
February 14, 2012 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
Michael C. Quinn, 59, longtime head of the Montpelier Foundation, which operates the Virginia home of President James Madison, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia. Quinn succeeds Bruce Cole, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, who left the museum last year to pursue his own writing and scholarship. Cole remains an adviser to the museum's board. "Mike Quinn has a strong background in the founding history of this nation that makes him uniquely suited to lead the center," H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, board chairman of the private American Revolution Center, nonprofit operator of the museum, said in a statement Monday.
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