Independence Park to Lose Living History Center in Land Exchange
The Archaeology Lab is in the Living History Center, 3rd and Chestnut Streets.
The lab is the repository for 1 million+ artifacts from the National Constitution Center site.
10,000+ volunteer hours have assisted with the artifact processing.
200,000+ people have visited the lab since its opening in 2005.
On June 29th the National Park Service (NPS) announced that they had reached an agreement to initiate a land exchange with the National Center for the American Revolution (ARC). This plan calls for the ARC to exchange about 78 acres that they own within Valley Forge National Historical Park for most of the Independence Living History Center and some surrounding land in Independence National Historical Park. This exchange, if executed, would have numerous effects.
For those interested in Philadelphia’s archaeology the most immediate effects would be to place the acreage at Valley Forge, and any archaeological sites it contains, under the protection of the NPS while removing federal protection from the parcel in Independence Park. The exchange would also displace the public Archeology Laboratory and the archaeology themed classroom now housed in the Living History Center. To date the NPS has made no public statement concerning the fate of either the lab or the classroom, but the intension is, apparently, to move them to other park locations.
The NPS is soliciting public input concerning this proposed land exchange. The Philadelphia Archaeological Forum encourages its members and the interested public to express their views on this important topic. The NPS will be accepting written comment through November 6, 2009.
The NPS is holding a public information session on November 2, 2009 from 4-7 p.m. in the Independence Living History Center (3rd and Chestnut Streets). This is an open house event; the public is welcome to stop in at anytime during those hours. Comments will also be accepted on-line or comments can be mailed to:
Independence National Historical Park
ATTN: American Revolution Center Public Comments
143 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Read the An NPS press release concerning the land exchange and the public meeting.
Additional information concerning the land exchange, including a draft set of deed restrictions that effect archaeology and other preservation issues, can be found on the park’s web site: nps.gov/inde/parkmgmt/planning.htm.