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Memorial Hall

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NEWS
November 27, 2002 | By Jeff Hurvitz
When you face Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, you are transported to another time. The massive centerpiece of our nation's centennial celebration, whose gargoyles form the base for a signature dome on the Beaux Arts structure, lends allure to some beautiful acreage that long has been neglected. Of course, museums are all about other times and how they relate to our present. The Please Touch Museum's possibly seeking much-needed new space in that vastly under-utilized architectural treasure in West Philadelphia is grounded in logic.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 22, 1986 | By MARY FLANNERY, Daily News Staff Writer
Everywhere you looked, there were shoulder pads. And basic black. There were a lot of knits and gravity-defying hairdos in electric hues. And that was just the visitors who crowded into Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park yesterday for the second annual Philadelphia Dresses the World exhibit. Onlookers seemed as intent upon making a fashion statement as the 103 local designers who showed off their wares this weekend in the city-sponsored international apparel mart. "I wasn't sure what to wear to come here, and I spent some time thinking about it," said Renee Gould, 34, of Camden, who was wearing a multicolored cotton skirt and a matching jacket in a stylish longer length.
NEWS
March 19, 2003
AS THE architect for the proposed Civil War museum in Memorial Hall, I strongly support Mark Alan Hughes'proposal in his March 11 column ("Win-Win for Memorial Hall"). He and I prefer that the Civil War museum be located in Memorial Hall and that a piece of land nearby be given to the Please Touch Museum to build a new building. Memorial Hall was built to honor soldiers who died in battle in both the Civil War and the War of Independence and should be preserved as such for posterity.
NEWS
March 8, 1992 | By Edward Colimore, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
High atop Memorial Hall, Jim Montgomery ducked into a small door and entered a brightly lit world of glass and iron. Overhead was a web of crisscrossing struts and beams, and hundreds of glass panes making up a colossal dome. At his feet lay an inner dome, like a giant bubble, 85 feet above the Great Hall. Here was a Philadelphia landmark that most people have seen only from the outside, rising above the treetops, sometimes miles away as they drive on the Schuylkill Expressway.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 1990 | By Anita Myette, Inquirer Staff Writer
Antiques dealers from around the nation will gather at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park this weekend for the second annual Fall Antiques Show to benefit the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Collectors can expect to find a wide assortment of furniture, estate and antique jewelry, Oriental items, silver, fine art, African-American memorabilia and affordable collectibles. In other words, the event will have something for just about everyone. The show will run from 1 to 9 p.m. today, with a champagne reception from 6 to 9 in a room adjacent to the show.
NEWS
February 11, 2003
IDON'T KNOW who stands to profit from the final destruction of Memorial Hall, but the Daily News suggestion of turning it into an indoor playground, serves neither the city nor the museum. I like the museum and have enjoyed the time spent there with my children. Nonetheless, it is a playground for preschoolers and frankly, Memorial Hall, the only remaining relic of the Centennial Exposition, deserves a better fate. This is where America celebrated its first 100 years, where the telephone became the seed for today's worldwide telecommunications network, where post-Civil War America celebrated itself on the verge of its coming industrial and economic greatness.
NEWS
March 11, 2003 | MARK ALAN HUGHES
I LOVE THE Please Touch Museum. My two children have lived their whole lives within a stone's throw of the place, and my first child went to the museum almost every day until he was about three. They've both grown up with the staff and are in the background of more than their share of photos in the museum newsletter. Now that they're older, they visit rarely - but even these funky Center City 10- and 7-year-olds are eager for the new museum to open, having listened for years to the museum staff offer their exciting vision of an expanded and updated facility.
NEWS
June 30, 1998 | by Jeremy Moore, Daily News Staff Writer
Tomorrow's Sunoco Welcome America! neighborhood arts festival in Parkside, cosponsored by the Daily News, promises live entertainment and participant activities both indoors and out. Entertainment includes five drill team performances, Will Newton & the E.T. Band, singer Ken Taylor, Bushfire Theater of the Performing Arts, CEC's jazz band, Gospel Unity Ward's AME Choir and Elder George & Rhythm Crusade Choir. The festival opens with a parade that starts at Belmont and Parkside avenues and ends at the Memorial Hall stage area.
NEWS
September 4, 2002
OPEN ANY door of Memorial Hall and you expect to be hit with the image of Charles Dickens' creepy spinster Miss Havisham of "Great Expectations" sitting in the ruins. Chances are, you're more likely to be be hit with falling plaster and decaying walls, or drips of rain from a leaking ceiling. As symbols go, Memorial Hall is a brilliant mirror of the park system it represents: a magnificent gem neglected by the city for so long that it's now decrepit, decaying and dangerous.
NEWS
September 22, 1989 | By Ron Avery, Daily News Staff Writer
What are those people in the deep end of the pool doing? It's not the butterfly or the crawl. It's certainly not the backstroke. Actually, they're practicing their prises de fer, their counter-riposte, their fleche and parry. Egad! The swimming pool is full of dashing, slashing swordsmen. The mass plunge of fencers into the empty indoor swimming pool at historic Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park has refreshed and rejuvenated the sport locally like nothing else in decades.
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BUSINESS
May 18, 2016 | By Jacob Adelman, STAFF WRITER
The building that once housed the Please Touch Museum near 21st and Race Streets is to be demolished to make way for an eight-townhome development, according to permits on the website of the Department of Licenses & Inspections. The project is being completed by Philadelphia-based U.S. Construction Inc., according to Logan Square Neighborhood Association President Drew Murray, whose group endorsed the proposal at a meeting last year. The demolition permit was issued May 10. Horsham-based homebuilders Toll Brothers had previously been under agreement to acquire the 30,000-square-foot building at 208 N. 21st St. with plans to build a five-story condo project at the site.
NEWS
September 13, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
The Please Touch Museum, which borrowed more money than it could pay back to renovate a new home in Fairmount Park's Memorial Hall, has filed for bankruptcy. The children's museum filed Friday for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia. The action has two main objectives: to shed the majority of the $60 million it owes holders of its debt, and to negotiate a deal whereby the museum turns over maintenance and repairs of Memorial Hall to the city, which owns it. The first Bankruptcy Court hearing on the matter is expected next week.
NEWS
November 12, 2014
THE REPUTATION of the man known as America's Dad took a huge hit after fellow comedian Hannibal Buress joked last month in Philly about rape allegations by a number of women against Bill Cosby. Suddenly, ugly rumors that somehow had faded away were front and center once again. A much-shared Washington Post headline asked: "Is the World Starting to Turn Against Bill Cosby?" But that hasn't stopped the Cos from being, well, the Cos. The 77-year-old actor-comedian was relaxed and jovial as he talked to me by telephone in his Jell-O voice on Friday.
NEWS
October 20, 2014 | By Kellie Patrick Gates, For The Inquirer
Hello there They met in 2000, when Dierdre went to her first Falcon Ridge Folk Festival with the guy she was then dating. Doug, who had long been part of a group that gathered annually for music and camping in Hillsdale, N.Y., was there with his then-wife and kids. By the time the summer music fest rolled around in 2002, Dierdre was no longer with her boyfriend, and Doug no longer with his wife. But both returned to the festival, with their kids. "One of my first remembrances I have of her is that when everyone else was socializing, she was reading her son a book," Doug said.
NEWS
July 10, 2014
Young fans of the Please Touch Museum who have been exposed to Greek myth might recognize in the museum's plight the story of Icarus, the boy with wax-and-feather wings who flew too close to the sun and fell to earth. The museum's expensive 2008 move from its cozy former Logan Square home to grand Memorial Hall, in Fairmount Park, has saddled it with untenable debt - to the point where, distressingly, creditors are talking about auctioning off treasured exhibits that hold memories for millions of Philadelphia area children of all ages.
NEWS
November 15, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
The Please Touch Museum, in default on the debt it assumed to renovate a new home in Memorial Hall, eliminated nine positions Wednesday as part of a budget-trimming process. The cuts represent about a 4 percent reduction in staff. The museum's board is seeking to increase revenue from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government sources, said interim president and CEO Lynn McMaster, and "must demonstrate that the museum is operating as efficiently as possible. " This means across-the-board cuts of about $400,000 on the museum's $9 million annual budget, she said.
NEWS
April 12, 2013 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
After moving to larger, costlier quarters in Memorial Hall 4½ years ago, the Please Touch Museum is still trying to pay for it all. Largely in order to help meet debt service, the museum has launched a $30 million fund-raising campaign. Most of the proceeds, $20 million, will go toward payments on the $60 million in bond debt the museum floated to take on the move from a few small buildings near the Franklin Institute to the enormous beaux-arts survivor of the 1876 Centennial in Fairmount Park.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 2013
"YOU HAVE colon cancer. " These are words no one wants to hear, words that will surely change your life forever. Tony Pace was in his 40s when he heard them. The good-natured Philadelphia native, husband and father of three is an industrial mechanic and exercise enthusiast. He is also a four-year survivor of colon cancer, who describes his journey as a "strange tale that began with a 2007 diagnosis of an infected prostate. " Just weeks after treatment for the infection, he awoke one morning and urinated only blood.
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