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Independence Hall

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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
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
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
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.
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
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 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
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.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 24, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Just a few weeks ago, when we were still waking up to chilly June mornings, the neighbor across my back wall put up another radio antenna. That makes three, and I took this development as the squirrel might greet the news that a crop of peanuts had just been planted for his express consumption and pleasure. It would be only a couple of weeks until my neighbor - we'll call him Fritz - would be sitting out nights under his patio umbrella, releasing distant radio signals into the warm air. This scanning across the crackle and static for strands of music and indistinct languages is an instant atmospheric change, as though Fritz turns our house over to a previous era. Summer in the city comes with its own vocabulary of sounds - not the driving buzz of suburban lawns being mowed, but stray rap escaping from passing cars.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 3, 2015
The long: Seventies-born, Emmy-winning educational segue that once interrupted Saturday morning cartoons takes to the stage in a story that aims its catchy rock 'n' roll hits squarely and energetically at elementary schoolers. The short: Kids learn. Parents reminisce. The demo: Ages 5 to 12. The length: One quick hour. The plot: A teacher named Tom dreams up five fantastical Technicolor characters the night before his first class. The set: Tom's studio apartment alternately transforms into Independence Hall, the Capitol building, a map of the USA and, during a visit from Interplanet Janet, outer space.
NEWS
March 21, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Matilda DeFlaviis Fumo could often be seen in the Independence Hall neighborhood, turned out as a well-dressed 18th century lady. In springtime and autumn, from the mid-1980s into 2009, Mrs. Fumo was a costumed guide for Centipede Tours. A very patient guide. The last tour that Mrs. Fumo worked alongside Centipede guide Sally A. Downey was especially memorable. Though the tour groups often consisted of local schoolchildren, this one was peopled by adults from out of state.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia will celebrate 50 years of LGBT civil-rights activism with four days of anniversary programming this summer and a four-month-long exhibition at the National Constitution Center. A huge rainbow banner laid across the lawn of the Constitution Center on Tuesday marked the announcement. The exhibit, "Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights and the Supreme Court," will run from June 5 through Sept. 7 and coincide with Gay Pride Month in June. The six-part exhibit will include testimonials and items from public demonstrations called Annual Reminder protests, which took place every July Fourth in front of Independence Hall from 1965 to 1969.
NEWS
March 4, 2015 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - Joe Sestak will formally launch his Senate campaign Wednesday at Independence Hall, he announced in a news release Monday. Sestak, a former admiral and Delaware County congressman, has long made clear that he intended to run for Senate in a bid to unseat Republican Pat Toomey in 2016. He has been fund-raising and making appearances across the state in hope of a rematch from their race in 2010. Sestak "is running to restore Americans' lost trust in their political leaders by being accountable to the people," said the announcement.
NEWS
February 26, 2015 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
Along hundreds of miles of railroad tracks, mourners stood silently, reverently, as a doleful whistle and wisps of smoke and steam announced the approaching funeral train. Many wept and bowed their heads as it passed. In towns where the locomotive stopped, thousands surged forward, pushing and jostling to get a better view. Bands played melancholy tunes and preachers offered up solemn prayers. They focused on a dark maroon railcar, swathed in black crepe, carrying the martyred Abraham Lincoln, who had come on another train four years earlier to tell throngs at Independence Hall that he'd "rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender" the country.
TRAVEL
February 16, 2015 | By Philippa J. Chaplin, Inquirer Travel Editor
A travel guide should be easily organized, so readers can quickly find what they're looking for. It should be written in a friendly tone, and provide background and supplemental information that might not be readily available at historic sites. And it should offer guidance on where to turn for present-day comforts. A new book by Larissa and Michael Milne - Philadelphia Liberty Trail: Trace the Path of America's Heritage - does all of that. The authors' names might sound familiar.
NEWS
January 8, 2015 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
PHILADELPHIA-AREA police officers will get another shout-out on Saturday at a "pro-blue" rally at Independence Hall. Beginning at 1 p.m., speakers including U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey and conservative radio talker Dom Giordano will give testimonials about their positive interactions with cops, said rally organizer Joe Eastman. "This is not pointing fingers at any group. This is to say, 'Thank you, and this is why we're thanking you.' We have a police department here that does a pretty good job, day in and day out," said Eastman, 63, who is retired from the Navy and serves on the 6th Police District Advisory Council.
NEWS
November 2, 2014 | By Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writer
You are in Philadelphia for a few hours. You have an impulse to explore before leaving. You stand on a downtown sidewalk and wonder - what's around the corner that would be perfect for me to see? A marketing study about Philadelphia's historic district has yielded a high-tech answer that could find its way into the smartphones of on-the-fly travelers and send them to Independence Mall. A build-your-own-itinerary app that would serve up results based on a user's passions and available free time is being considered.
NEWS
October 26, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
What was once City Hall's largely stone and concrete Dilworth Plaza now has a bright swath of green. With a pair of garden shears, city officials snipped a grass ribbon Friday to officially open the Albert M. Greenfield Lawn at the newly renovated Dilworth Park. The green space is named in honor of the former chairman of the city Planning Commission, who was dubbed "Mr. Philadelphia" for his contributions to city planning and revitalization in the 1950s and '60s. The lawn, christened by Temple University gymnasts who back-flipped across it following a trumpet salute, will be open to the public year-round for lounging, recreation, or as an events stage, said Paul Levy, president and chief executive of the Center City District, which completed the project.
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