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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
BUSINESS
December 30, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Dennis Reidenbach moved to Philadelphia in July 1976, as the city's combative mayor, Frank L. Rizzo , was warning tourists to avoid the Bicentennial of American independence because he feared protests. Reidenbach built a career with the National Park Service that focused on finding ways to attract many more tourists to the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other historic sites as federal park budgets shrank. He rose to superintendent at Independence National Historical Park and, since 2007, has headed the service's 13-state Northeast region.
NEWS
December 15, 2013 | BY DANA DIFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
MORE THAN two months have passed since an ambulance's electrical wiring shorted, sparking a blaze that destroyed the vehicle and ravaged a firehouse at 4th and Arch streets in Old City. But plywood still blocks the windows and garage doors of the Ben Franklin Firehouse, and the firefighters and paramedics who worked there remain reassigned to other stations. That irks the firefighters' union, whose leaders complain that the shuttered firehouse leaves the city's historic district vulnerable because the next-closest stations are blocks away, increasing emergency response time.
NEWS
October 19, 2013 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, two symbols of the city's history and vitality, reopened after 16 days of darkness Thursday as thousands of relieved federal employees returned to work across the Philadelphia region. The end of the government shutdown sent workers back to local jobs in places such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Army Corps of Engineers, and ensured that those who have worked without pay as "essential" employees would get checks.
NEWS
October 17, 2013 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
At the National Constitution Center, the government shutdown is turning out to be good for business: Attendance is up 57 percent. Elfreth's Alley drew a bigger weekend crowd, Christ Church got an initial bump, and attendance is up slightly at the tours and attractions run by Historic Philadelphia Inc. It appears that the shutdown that closed Philadelphia's biggest historic sites, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, may be diverting visitors...
NEWS
October 4, 2013 | BY BETH D'ADDONO, For the Daily News
IT'S A NEIGHBORHOOD fish story worth telling. Ten years ago, when Paul Kimport and William Reed took over Johnny Brenda's, there wasn't much new going on in Fishtown, a blue-collar, mostly Irish-Catholic river-ward neighborhood 2 miles north of Independence Hall. The triangle roughly bounded by the Delaware River, Frankford Avenue and York Street wasn't on anybody's radar for dining or nightlife, unless you were looking for a gritty shot-and-beer joint like Johnny Brenda's, opened in 1967 by boxer John Imbrenda, whose ringside moniker is still on the sign outside.
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