Philly unveils new Revolution museum
Only steps from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, in the most historic part of the country’s most historically significant city, The American Revolution Center today unveiled the architectural design for The Museum of the American Revolution.
The museum, to be built at 3rd and Chestnut Streets, will house the original artifacts, manuscripts, rare books and works of art owned by The American Revolution Center, the non-profit educational organization that is building the museum. The museum will tell the full story of the American Revolution and explore its ongoing legacy, providing context to the many regional and national museums that present key aspects of our nation’s founding era.
During the ceremony attended by cultural leaders, tourism officials, and friends of The American Revolution Center, philanthropist H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest announced a $40 million challenge grant to encourage donations to the project. Lenfest said, “The American Revolution secured our independence and led to the creation of this great Nation. Yet two centuries have passed and there is still no national museum that tells the entire story of this remarkable period. I am offering this challenge grant because now is the time to establish The Museum of the American Revolution and ensure that the spirit of the American Revolution is carried forward for generations to come.”
Michael C. Quinn, President and CEO of The American Revolution Center said, “We could not be more pleased with the progress we have made as evidenced by the plans unveiled today and the inspiring challenge by Mr. Lenfest, our latter-day founding father. We hope many people will respond to his challenge grant and help us perpetuate the “Spirit of 76” with The Museum of the American Revolution."
Robert A.M. Stern, Founder and Senior Partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, presented renderings of the new museum. Anchoring the eastern end of Independence National Historical Park, and set amidst architecturally and historically significant buildings, the Museum will carry forward the restrained Classicism that heralded the birth of our nation in a contemporary, environmentally sustainable way.
Pennsylvania First Lady, Susan Corbett, recognized Mr. Lenfest for his extraordinary commitment to this cause and spoke about the importance of the project for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the nation. Mrs. Corbett is also Chair of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts and Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
The Center’s Director of Collections and Interpretation, Dr. R. Scott Stephenson provided an overview of the Center’s collection that includes General George Washington’s marquee, historic firearms and edged weapons, personal items used during the War of Independence, printed works and manuscripts, and works of art.
The Center is embarked on a $150M capital campaign to raise funds to establish the museum. In addition to Mr. Lenfest’s $40M challenge grant, the Center has received a $30M matching grant from the Commonwealth’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).
David McCullough, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author has said, “Establishing the Museum of the American Revolution is an immensely exciting and important project. The need for wider, deeper understanding of the Revolution, and respect for those who championed the cause at the time, has never been greater than now.”
About The American Revolution Center
The American Revolution Center is a non-partisan, not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to engaging the public in the history and enduring legacy of the American Revolution. For more information, please visit http://www.AmericanRevolutionCenter.org or call toll free at 877-740-1776.
About Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP
Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP has completed a number of buildings that present important themes in American history, including the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the Museum Center at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut. The Museum for African Art on Museum Mile in New York City and the George Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas are currently under construction. In Philadelphia, the firm’s work includes Comcast Center and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, is a practicing architect, teacher and writer and has been the dean of the Yale School of Architecture since 1988. http://www.ramsa.com.
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