Philadelphia is rich with monuments and memorials commemorating dozens of historical events that occurred in this area. In this continuing tradition, Philadelphia recently added to the visitor experience with the newly – erected Independent Visitor’s Center, the National Constitution Center and the new Liberty Bell Pavilion.
The City of Brotherly Love is known mostly for its athletic teams such as the Eagles, Flyers and the Sixers. Though sometimes wrapped up in sports fanaticism, Philadelphia residents have not lost their appreciation for the prized landmarks at the core of the city’s history.
To begin their trip back into Philadelphia’s history, most tourists and students start at the Independence Visitor Center, located at the corner of 6th and Market streets, in downtown Philadelphia. The center was designed to better orient tourists with “America’s most historic square mile,” by helping them plan day trips around the city where America was born.
In addition, the Center offers historical facts and figures to visitors in an attempt to draw out the entire city timeline. This information includes introductions to some of Philadelphia’s less well known residents, including the renowned anatomist and intellectual Robert Morris and financier Philip Marin Freneau, who signed the Declaration of Independence, wrote poetry during the Revolution and was a friend to Benjamin Franklin.
Since it opened in 2001, more than three million visitors have come through the doors of the Constitution Center looking for guidance in exploring Philadelphia’s history. Now in its third year, the Center is the place to begin a city tour.
The National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch St., is situated in Philadelphia’s historic Independence Mall. Since its July 3, 2003, opening, the National Constitution Center sees about one million visitors each year. Their goal is to bring alive the story of the Constitution through more than 100 interactive and multimedia exhibits, photographs, films and artifacts. Each set of principles represented by the Constitution defines the fundamental law of the U.S. federal government.
The Constitution Center starts the history lesson in the summer of 1787, when 55 delegates met to amend the Articles of Confederation, the first written Constitution of the United States, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
The museum continually creates featured events to draw public interest. This month, a visitor can follow the age-old struggle against human oppression through Harriet Tubman’s legendary efforts in rescuing more than 300 slaves and leading them to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
Last but not least, Philadelphia’s final phase in the redesign of Independence National Historical Park is the recent completion of the new Liberty Bell Center. The Liberty Bell has been a long-standing symbol of Philadelphia’s history. The Liberty Bell, ordered from England in 1951, was used to call Philadelphia’s citizens to the first public readings and was rung to commemorate the birthday of George Washington. The bell symbolizes the establishment of a new philosophy and nation.
Direct Dimensions, Inc. was recently given special access to the Liberty Bell to collect data to make a duplicate of the historical monument. A computer model of the bell was generated to create a replica for the 60th anniversary remembrance of the U.S. troops’ landing at Normandy during on D-Day.
If there’s nothing to do on a rainy day, come out to the Independence Visitor Center, pick up some maps and fast facts about the National Constitution Center and the Liberty Bell and explore Philadelphia at its best.
Alexis Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org