Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

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Dec 14 2010

Fact Sheet: The President’s House: Freedom And Slavery In The Making Of A New Nation

This is a National Park Service/City of Philadelphia press release.

DESCRIPTION: President’s House commemorative site is an open-air installation designed to give visitors a sense of the house where the first two presidents of the United States, George Washington and John Adams served their terms of office. The commemorative site pays homage to nine documented enslaved persons of African descent who were part of the Washington household and addresses the topic of slavery in the early history of the United States.

LOCATION: Southeast corner of 6th and Market Streets in Historic Philadelphia

OPENING: December 15, 2010

PROJECT COST: $11.2 million including a $2 million maintenance endowment

LEADERSHIP: The design-construction phase of the project was a joint initiative between the City of Philadelphia and Independence National Historical Park (INHP). The completed project is an official National Park Service site managed by INHP.

FUNDING: The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation has been made possible by the City of Philadelphia; the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration; the Delaware River Port Authority; Bank of America Charitable Foundation; and other generous corporate and individual supporters including PNC Bank, The Tides Foundation, Independence Blue Cross, the Connelly Foundation, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, Wendy Rosen and Manuel Stamatakis

Funding from the City of Philadelphia came from the administrations of Mayor John F. Street (2000-2008) and Mayor Michael A. Nutter. Funding from the Federal Government came through the efforts of Congressmen Robert A. Brady and Chaka Fattah. Governor Edward G. Rendell was instrumental in securing funding from the Delaware River Port Authority.

WORK TEAM: (all Philadelphia-based, unless otherwise indicated)

  • Kelly/Maiello Architects and Planners, exhibit designer
  • Daniel J. Keating Company, general contractor
  • American History Workshop, (NY, NY) initial concept development for the interpretive plan
  • Dr. Gary Nash (UCLA) and Dr. Spencer Crew (George Mason University), project historians
  • Eisterhold Associates, (Kansas City, MO), exhibit design, interpretive plan
  • Scribe Video Center and Lorene Cary, video vignettes
  • Philadelphia Department of Public Property, project management, under the direction of the Chief of Staff for the City of Philadelphia
  • The ROZ Group, Inc., owner’s representative on behalf of the City of Philadelphia
  • The project achieved 67% minority participation

EXHIBIT DETAILS:

  • Approximately 8,000 square feet of open air space
  • Brick foundation walls that are representative of the original architecture of the house
  • Five motion-activated video screens with stories depicting the lives of the enslaved
  • Illustrated glass panels and porcelite text panels
  • A glass vitrine overlooking structural remains uncovered during a 2007 archeological dig
  • Bronze footprints symbolizing the road to freedom
  • A wooden and glass memorial space for solemn reflection, etched with tribal names and the places of origin of the millions of Africans who were brought to America
  • Granite wall etched with of the names of the nine documented enslaved individuals: Austin, Christopher, Giles, Hercules, Joe, Moll, Oney Judge, Paris and Richmond

WEB SITES:

Note to Editors: Press releases, fact sheets, photography and video of the President’s House is available at visitphilly.com/pressroom.

Contact(s):
  • E-mail

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This is a National Historical Park/City of Philadelphia press release.

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