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Independence Hall

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NEWS
February 19, 2012 | By Laura Cofsky, Inquirer Staff Writer
At dusk on Saturday, the Centennial Bell that hangs in the Independence Hall tower chimed for the first time in 18 months, filling the air with a clear, crisp sound that will mark every hour of every day. About 100 bystanders gathered to watch the unveiling of the Philadelphia landmark. "Here we are in the figurative shadow of our founders," Cynthia MacLeod, superintendent of Independence National Historical Park, said as she welcomed the crowd. She described the history of Independence Hall, from the signing of the Declaration of Independence to the ratification of the Constitution.
NEWS
January 17, 2003 | By Richard R. Beeman
Between 1776 and 1787, Pennsylvania's State House (later renamed Independence Hall) was the site of a series of discussions and decisions that would forever alter the course of history. Those discussions throw light on the current controversy over the city's decision to close Chestnut Street in front of Independence Hall. Central to the discussions surrounding the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the creation of the U.S. Constitution was the age-old problem of finding the proper balance between communal security and personal liberty.
NEWS
April 16, 2005
For a fee, summer visitors to Independence National Historical Park will be able to take a new tour that treats them to a unique look at the city's past. It's not only a journey back to Philadelphia's colonial era, but also to more carefree days before 9/11. The dinner tour lets visitors stroll the colonnade of Independence Hall in the quiet of the evening, and then step inside for an after-hours look at the old statehouse. Not really a big deal? Well, such casual, low-key access to democracy's birthplace, in fact, is a remarkable departure.
NEWS
April 10, 1997 | by William Bunch, Daily News Staff Writer
First, there was that crack in the Liberty Bell. Now this: Independence Hall has been closed because of an asbestos problem. Officials say the shutdown, which should last for about a week, will not affect the Presidents' Summit on Volunteerism later this month, when President Clinton is slated to deliver the keynote address outside the city's most historic structure. But the asbestos dust that was discovered yesterday as a renovation crew worked on the adjacent Congress Hall was not good news for the biggest tourist attraction in a city that's marketing itself as a major vacation destination.
NEWS
September 29, 2013 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA The Philadelphia Fire Department was forced Friday to temporarily close a firehouse that serves the historic district around Independence Hall because a fire that started in a medic truck has damaged the brick structure. At 11:36 a.m., two emergency medical technicians reported a fire in their truck, parked in the garage of the firehouse at 101-15 N. Fourth St. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said other firehouses in Center City responded to the blaze, which was contained by 11:49 a.m. "Everyone is safe," he said.
BUSINESS
August 27, 1992 | by Jenice M. Armstrong, Daily News Staff Writer
Independence National Historical Park is in peril. That's from a report issued earlier this week by the National Parks and Conservation Association, a Washington-based nonprofit group. It listed examples from around the nation of looming threats and disasters at the nation's parks. Here's what the group found in Philadelphia: a sprinkler system at historic Independence Hall so outdated that a fire could level the building in fewer than 30 minutes, and antiquated plumbing that flooded the hall's basement three times last summer.
NEWS
September 13, 2007
Private security guards who have protested what they call poor working conditions at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell voted yesterday to unionize. The Wackenhut Services Inc. workers voted, 31-2, to join the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, district organizing coordinator Jeff Hornstein said. Fifteen guards did not vote. The election was held at a community hall a few blocks from Independence National Historical Park, which is also protected by the National Park Service.
NEWS
January 14, 2012 | By Mike Newall and Walter F. Naedele, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
A 2010 Temple University graduate was hospitalized in extremely critical condition after being beaten by three men near Independence Hall early Saturday morning, Philadelphia police said. The attack occurred about 2:30 a.m. as the 23-year-old man and two female friends were returning from the Lucy's Hat Shop bar blocks away on Market Street, investigators said. It was not clear exactly what sparked the incident. The victim apparently yelled at a taxi that failed to stop as the group hailed it in the 400 block of Chestnut Street, investigators said.
NEWS
October 15, 2010 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
The scaffolding is up, girdling the familiar tower of Independence Hall. A decorative scrim, donated by the Friends of Independence and sporting an image of the tower, will soon itself be girdling the scaffolding - a reminder of what lies within and a cover for unsightly construction. The much-needed 14-month renovation of the tower is well under way, and previously unknown facts are revealing themselves - maybe not earthshaking surprises, but surprises nonetheless. Example: For years, architectural stewards at Independence National Historical Park believed that the spindle holding up the tower's stylized pointed weathervane was constructed from two pieces of iron.
NEWS
October 3, 2013 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
As if the rainiest June in Philadelphia history and a federal "sequester" that cut 10 percent from national parks' budgets were not enough, the federal government shutdown now threatens to further disrupt businesses and tourism near the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Merchants in shops at the Bourse across from Independence National Historical Park said they didn't see any impact on the first day of the shutdown Tuesday, but a longer closure could seriously affect the 10,000 visitors per day who normally pass near their doors in October.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 6, 2014 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
This year's appearance by Peter Nero and the Philly Pops in front of Independence Hall to celebrate the nation's birthday was a stirring success - but without Peter Nero, or Independence Hall. The threat of stormy weather moved Thursday night's free concert indoors, to Verizon Hall. Storms of the legal sort moved Nero out. The Pops' president, Frank Giordano, recently filed in federal court a defamation claim against Nero in an episode stemming from an interview Nero gave to the Morning Call.
NEWS
July 6, 2014 | BY CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writer brennac@phillynews.com, 215-854-5973
VICE PRESIDENT Joe Biden celebrated America's 238th birthday at Independence Hall, where he considered the history and future of the nation's freedoms. Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd that gathered yesterday despite an overcast sky and drizzling rain, Biden spoke of the work the Founding Fathers did in Philadelphia in 1776. The event, part of the Wawa Welcome America Festival, focused not just on the signing of the Declaration of Independence but also on the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1954 that desegregated schools and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
NEWS
July 5, 2014 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
The two documents are rarely exhibited - and not easily accessed behind the many layers of security. To see them, Lee Arnold, library director at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, uses an entry card to pass into an elevator, then into a large locked room, No. 210. Inside, he twirls the tumbler of a combination lock on thick vault doors, then swings them open to reveal still another set of metal doors with a coded digital lock. Beyond is the climate-controlled chamber filled with historical treasures - and a heavy safe, accessed by keys held only by Arnold and the institution's director of research.
NEWS
June 12, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
FOR A LONG TIME, Karen Warrington knew him only as "Flagman. " He would show up at demonstrations, rallies or other gatherings seeking justice for African-Americans, carrying a huge red, black and green flag. It might have been at City Hall, school district headquarters, Independence Hall or wherever activists gathered to air grievances and press for action. Warrington, communications director for U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, eventually learned that Flagman was David Devlin, or, as he liked to call himself, the Rev. David Devlin.
NEWS
May 7, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Going with the theme that the best place to celebrate America's birthday is the place where the country was born, city officials announced Monday the planned festivities for the nation's 238th anniversary. "This is Philadelphia. We own this," Mayor Nutter said. "There is no better place to celebrate the Fourth of July than right here, Philadelphia, the birthplace of freedom, liberty, and democracy for the United States. " City officials and festival organizers are encouraging people to use #PhillyOwnsthe4th when discussing the event on social media.
NEWS
April 19, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
A 26-year-old Camden man was sentenced Thursday to 57 months in prison for beating a man unconscious near Independence Hall in 2012, federal prosecutors said. Baldwin Centeno and his uncle Santos Centeno, 47, were convicted in federal court in Philadelphia last year of the attack on a 35-year-old man who approached them for help because he could not find his car. A park ranger found the victim lying near a curb on Fourth Street between Chestnut and Walnut Streets. The victim suffered traumatic brain injuries and facial fractures during the June 16, 2012, assault.
NEWS
March 21, 2014 | By Julie Xie, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Restaurateur Michael Schulson's vision for the city's most historic spot calls for Independence Hall, Independence Day, and lots of local beer. "Where does it become more American than that?" he asks. It doesn't, he answers. With that in mind, he's trying to make a beer garden out of a patio and part of the ground floor of the Rohm & Haas building at 100 S. Independence Mall West by the Fourth of July. "Philadelphians love their beer. I thought I would do a beer garden in Philly if I got the right space," Schulson said in an interview.
NEWS
March 12, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The developer of Center City's luxury 1706 Rittenhouse Square Street condominiums said Monday that he plans to build a 26-story, 40-unit condo tower at Fifth and Walnut Streets at a cost of $150 million. The tower will overlook Independence Hall, developer Tom Scannapieco said, and will be built on an 18,155-square-foot site vacant for more than a decade. A number of proposals for the land have been made, most recently in 2004. Scannapieco said construction should begin in spring 2015, with units ready for occupancy in March 2017.
FOOD
March 7, 2014 | By Michael Klein, For The Inquirer
Imagine people eating and drinking, just steps from Independence Hall. It happened in the 18th century, and it will happen again this summer. Restaurateur Michael Schulson has secured a deal with the owners of One South Independence Mall West - the landmark Rohm & Haas building and now the home of Dow Chemical at Sixth and Market Streets - to create an outdoor beer garden across from the Liberty Bell. Schulson, who owns Sampan, the Saint James, and Atlantic City's Izakaya, will control 30,000 square feet around the building as Independence Beer Garden , which he hopes to open July Fourth.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
It's hard not to wince when you first look at the renderings of the Mormon Church's expanding kingdom at 16th and Vine Streets, unveiled last week by Mayor Nutter. The architectural chameleons at Robert Stern's office have paired a 1920s-style apartment tower with a teensy redbrick meetinghouse that looks as if it was dragged across town from colonial-era Society Hill. As if that wasn't enough, those retro buildings will join a snow-white, double-spired, French classical Mormon temple by Perkins+Will that is already rising along the cliff edge of the Vine Street Expressway.
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