January 17, 2003 |
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.
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.
February 19, 2012 |
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.
April 10, 1997 |
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.
August 27, 1992 |
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.
January 14, 2012 |
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.
October 15, 2010 |
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.
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.
September 29, 2013 |
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.
October 3, 2013 |
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.