December 25, 1993 |
Independence Hall is open every day. The Liberty Bell, too. But for eight years, some of the other treasures of Independence National Historic Park have been closed in winter because of budget problems. No longer. Thanks to a $900,000 boost in the park's operating budget for fiscal 1994, the park will resume full-scale, year-round operations, according to Rep. Tom Foglietta (D., Pa.). "For the first time since 1986, all 19 historic buildings which comprise Independence National Historical Park will be open to the public for the entire year," said Foglietta, who called the budget boost "a terrific Christmas present" for Philadelphians and tourists.
June 28, 1998 |
Fifty years ago today, President Harry Truman signed a bill that would dramatically alter the face of Philadelphia, creating Independence National Historical Park in a run-down section of eastern Center City. Back then, the area was not one to which locals pointed with pride. Across Chestnut Street and for blocks around, the streetscape was dominated by old three- and four-story commercial buildings, many vacant, whose tendency to catch fire was a constant worry. To the south, there was the wholesale-food market and a noted red-light district.
March 20, 1993 |
Of his 16 years standing on the sidelines while presidents, royalty and other officials toured Independence Hall, Bernie Goodman recalls Jimmy Carter's 1990 visit with special pleasure. After the usual tour of the Assembly Room - where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were drafted - park officials made the former president, who is an accomplished carpenter, an offer he couldn't turn down: a climb to see the hand-hewn early 19th-century woodwork supporting the hall's 168.5-foot-tall bell tower and spire.
November 11, 1990 |
Charles Dickens, upon arising from his bed in the disturbingly regular city of Philadelphia, went to the window, drew back the curtain, and saw an apparition. There across Chestnut Street was the "great gray ghost of finance, the tomb of many fortunes," the Second Bank of the United States. That austere Greek temple still has a spectral quality, largely because its marble columns have melted from decades of acid rain. Unlike Dickens, who viewed the building in terms of political and economic issues that were still very much alive, we are inclined to see it as the leftover of a lost civilization, a building whose importance can be recognized but whose particular significance has been lost.
July 9, 1994 |
National park rangers were in costume yesterday to commemorate the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence exactly 218 years ago yesterday. Ranger Lynda Supplee (left) cheered the declaration with Dean Bennett as Ben Franklin at Independence National Historical Park.
January 28, 1987 |
Freedom will continue to be free at Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and other area historical landmarks. A $2 proposed fee to tour Independence National Historical Park - the home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, at 5th and Chestnut streets, and adjacent buildings that housed the 1790-1800 federal government - has been "put off indefinitely," according to Congressional leaders. The National Park Service proposal also included a $3 per vehicle fee and $1 per person toll for use of the one-way tour road through Valley Forge National Historical Park, and even a fee to visit the Statue of Liberty in New York.
December 18, 2007 |
Cynthia MacLeod, the former superintendent of the Richmond National Battlefield Park and Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Richmond, Va., has been named superintendent at Independence National Historical Park, the National Park Service announced yesterday. MacLeod will succeed Dennis Reidenbach, who was named head of the park service's Northeast Region in September. Darla Sidles has served as acting superintendent at the park since then. In announcing the appointment, Reidenbach highlighted MacLeod's ability to build relationships with independent and private organizations in support of park service efforts.
June 10, 2005
I READ YOUR Yo! cover story of May 27 by Donna Williams Vance on colonial-era stories, "The Lure of the Lore," and I was horrified, shocked and dismayed to read the comments of Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corp., in the article. To quote Ms. Levitz, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if all those lost stories . . . [came] to light from people who were trained, devoted and enthusiastic about telling them?" Well, Ms. Levitz, I can only assume that you haven't visited Independence National Historical Park in more than a half-century.
January 3, 1987
Since 1979, the National Parks Mid-Atlantic Council has served as an independent citizens' advisory group to the Mid-Atlantic Region of the National Park Service. The council strongly supports The Inquirer's editorial position of Dec. 20 concerning the inadvisability of charging an admission fee to Independence National Historical Park and Valley Forge National Historical Park. It is one thing to charge a reasonable fee for the use of a recreational park, but national parks which preserve and interpret our history and culture should be open to all without charge.
July 14, 1991
It was both fitting and sad that the Persian Gulf war should have interrupted plans to raise money for the restoration of Washington Square. The story goes that Pennsylvania Sen. John Heinz was scheduled to meet in mid-January with a Philadelphia businessman to line up donors for the $3.5 million project. Instead, war broke out and Sen. Heinz had to rush to Washington. Before another fund-raising meeting could be held, the senator was killed in a plane crash. Washington Square, of course, is the resting place for more than 2,000 soldiers from a much earlier war - the war for American independence.