March 19, 2012
"THAT IS the last goddamn straw!" roared Dr. Albert C. Barnes.The long-dead Dr. Barnes was complaining about the stark, stainless-steel sculpture commissioned to "grace" the exterior of the new Barnes Foundation Museum that is racing toward a May 19 opening (in time for the tourist season). The sculpture, by Ellsworth Kelly, is a 40-foot Popsicle stick with a zigzag center. "It looks like a giant middle finger held up to torment me," growled the ghost of the cremated Dr. Barnes.
June 29, 2003 |
In designing the National Constitution Center, architect Henry N. Cobb sought to establish visual and symbolic connections between Independence Hall, where the U.S. Constitution was debated, and the new museum, which celebrates the document's history. The center is a big, modern building. Independence Hall is a small, colonial building. How to keep the museum's bulk from overwhelming the tiny hall, located at the other end of Independence Mall? Cobb, whose firm, Pei, Cobb, Freed & Partners, designed the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, broke the center into distinct geometric parts, including triangles, circles and star shapes.
April 11, 1999 |
What was the winter encampment at Valley Forge like from the soldiers' point of view? Which portrait of himself did George Washington consider the most flattering? The answers lie in thousands of artifacts owned by the Valley Forge Historical Society, which has embarked on a mission to establish the first modern museum devoted solely to the Revolutionary War. The plan is to build a new museum and visitors center at Valley Forge National Historical Park. The society estimates that the new museum will be visited by about 500,000 people a year and generate $30 million a year in visitor spending.
February 1, 2013 |
About 8 a.m. Thursday, in gusty winds, the Bicentennial Bell - a six-ton 1976 gift from the one-time mother country to the people of the United States - was lifted from its home in the Independence Park bell tower at Third and Chestnut Streets, and lowered slowly onto two red steel pedestals at street level. A few hours later, held firmly by yellow hoists attached to a yellow crane, it was lifted again and guided into a great crate, to be trucked away to storage. Independence National Historical Park officials must now mull where the bell's next permanent home will be. The dramatic move from the 130-foot tower at the northern end of the old visitor-center site also marks the most public evidence that change is coming.
September 10, 2010 |
After 11 years of negotiations, a deal to bring a Revolutionary War museum to historic Philadelphia has been signed. Officials from the American Revolution Center (ARC) and the National Park Service gathered in Society Hill Friday to commemorate a land swap that cleared the way for the museum, which will rise on the site of the former Independence Visitors Center, 3rd and Chestnut streets. According to the agreement, the park service will pay the ARC $3.2 million in exchange for preserving 78 acres of land in Valley Forge National Historic Park.
January 17, 2011
YESTERDAY, the same Tumi luggage that Carl Greene bought for 19 of his PHA managers was going for an opening bid of $605 on Ebay. You could buy it outright for $710. PHA interim chief Michael Kelly did the right thing when he demanded PHA staffers who had received the swag from Greene to return the bags; so far, of the 15 still employed at PHA, all but two have opted to return them instead of reimbursing the agency. It's unclear whether Nordstrom's, where Greene bought them, will accept them in return.
March 11, 2003 |
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.
July 27, 1996
Pittsburghers have caught the history bug with the opening this spring of the Sen. John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center. Tens of thousands of them are streaming into the new museum. It's the same bug that's led a number of American cities to launch museums to showcase the artifacts of the recent and long-ago past, regional customs and milestones. For Philadelphia, the question is whether that bug is contagious. For several years, Philadelphia has had its own plan for a history center: a $48 million, 100,000-square-foot museum in a new or converted facility.
March 28, 2009 |
When the British artist Jeremy Deller arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport a few days ago, he came with his assistant and not a little apprehension. "I was really worried," Deller said, "because the last time [the assistant] came in, he was arrested. They went through his checked luggage and they found some papers - notes on this project, actually - and they didn't like that. " Airport security officials initially were suspicious of the notes, which related to Deller's work-in-progress, It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq, but released the assistant after detention and interrogation.
March 2, 1987 |
An idea which took hold in the basement of a Northeast Philadelphia rowhouse 27 years ago has become a teaching museum dedicated to the memory of the more than six million Jews murdered during the Nazi Holocaust. "We are our brothers' keepers. And nobody knew that better than Yaakov Riz, a man who lost 83 members of his family during the destruction of the Polish Jews," recalled his widow, Sheila Riz, during dedication ceremonies yesterday at the Holocaust Awareness Museum of the Delaware Valley.