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Independence Hall

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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
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
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 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 8, 2015
CONTRARY TO the old Army recruiting slogan, July 4 in Philadelphia is not all that it can be. A rain-dappled Saturday held down attendance some, but I think the fault lies elsewhere. The morning ceremonies at Independence Hall lacked a hook, which it once had. More troubling was the evening concert on the Parkway, which has several problems, including scrubbing of any trace of the "P-word:" Patriotism. To some people, "patriotism" smacks of jingoism rather than simple love of country (even though love sometimes means having to say you're sorry)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 7, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
The Philadelphia Orchestra, which knows the way to London and Vienna, could use a little help these days finding the neighborhoods of the city in which it lives. In 15 years, the orchestra's wonderful free neighborhood concert series has brought it to North Philadelphia, the Navy Yard, Drexel Hill, and elsewhere. This year, the series consists of two concerts, and you might notice that the next one, July 30, has the intrepid Philadelphians venturing all the way to, well, their usual perch in Verizon Hall.
NEWS
July 6, 2015 | By Jonathan Takiff, Inquirer Staff Writer
With the ink still wet on the Supreme Court's 5-4 pro-marriage-equality ruling, figures from the LGBT movement joined thousands of others at Independence Hall on Saturday for the National LGBT 50th anniversary ceremony. Fifty years ago, in the same location, a polite protest by 40 gay men and women sparked the movement with its demands for equal rights for gay people. That demonstration is seen by many as the birth of the modern gay-rights movement. "For the gay community, this is identical in meaning to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom," anniversary chairman and co-emcee Malcolm Lazin said before the celebration.
NEWS
July 3, 2015 | By Helen Ubiñas, Daily News Columnist
I MET Benjamin Franklin in a dimly lit Center City bar one night. The dapper gentleman in colonial attire looked like he just wanted to eat his Caesar salad in peace. But c'mon, you try spotting a dude dressed like the man who signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and not striking up a conversation. Or taking a selfie. Or asking if you two could hang sometime. Or all of the above. I know, this city is crawling with people dressed as historical figures - especially this July 4 weekend: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Rocky.
NEWS
July 2, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR & REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
WHEN ARCHBISHOP Charles Chaput visited the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in January, the commissioner of city prisons, Louis Giorla, jokingly told Chaput that the prison would be more than happy to host Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia in September. Yesterday, as Giorla stood outside of Curran-Fromhold's walls in front of a throng of reporters, even he seemed surprised at the punch line to his joke: "It came true!" he said. With the release of the official itinerary for the pope's visit to Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., yesterday, the public got its first glimpse at what Pope Francis wants to get out of his first visit to the United States of America.
NEWS
July 2, 2015 | By Martha Woodall and Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writers
During two whirlwind days in Philadelphia in September, Pope Francis will speak about immigration and religious liberty outside Independence Hall and visit inmates at the city's largest prison. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said the pope's itinerary says, "I walk with you - and so does the Lord. " Mayor Nutter, who returned last week from Rome as part of a delegation firming up plans for Francis' visit, said he was not surprised by the pope's plans to visit Independence Hall or a prison.
NEWS
June 29, 2015 | By Maria Panaritis and Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writers
The Liberty Bell sat across the street, the symbolic copper-and-tin companion to the stately red brick of Independence Hall. But celebrity chef Michael Schulson wasn't wowed by the historic backdrop. In fact, as he listened to a business pitch imploring him to open a restaurant inside the forbidding concrete walls of the nearby Dow building, he was stunned by something more pedestrian: the lack of pedestrians. "It was dead," said the Sampan and Buddakan New York maestro, recalling that September 2013 evening in the heart of colonial Philadelphia.
NEWS
June 28, 2015 | By Jessica Parks and Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writers
On both sides of the Delaware River, advocates cheered Friday's Supreme Court decision declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right, while critics voiced concerns about improper judicial activism and restrictions on religious freedom. In Philadelphia, John Speer rested a rainbow flag - the same one Mayor Nutter ordered to fly at City Hall - on one shoulder. Speer, 72, came out in 1976. Before that, he sneaked into gay bars. "I really didn't think I'd live to see this day," said Speer, one of hundreds who convened on Independence Mall to celebrate the ruling.
NEWS
June 28, 2015 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pope Francis will visit inmates at a Philadelphia prison and speak on the plight of immigrants at Independence Hall during his visit to the United States in September, according to an unofficial draft itinerary obtained by the Washington Post. The pontiff will be in Philadelphia on Sept. 26 and 27, following the World Meeting of Families congress, which begins on Sept. 22. Officials have said the pope will attend the Saturday Festival of Families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and celebrate Mass outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday.
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.
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