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Preliminary Report Distributed to historians, May 13 and 17, 2002

Background and preliminary planning for interpreting the site at 190 High Street now the SE corner of 6th and Market Streets:

History of the house:

Historical research using primary and secondary sources and, when possible archeological investigations, provides the data as, in this case, the above facts and the potential images and illustrations for the first step in the planning process for any interpretive program or media choice. Next steps include determining what aspects of the information are most relevant to the historical period and themes the park was established to interpret. Then a decision is made about how and where to convey the material for instance, whether it will be conveyed in a publication or a periodic walking tour or wayside exhibit and if it is already available at other locations within the park.

Our planning led to the conclusion that this specific story the history of this building and those who lived and labored within it can be most compellingly told right at its site, now the SE corner of 6th and Market Street, by the use of wayside exhibits because of their site-specific and readily accessible qualities.

General overview of waysides:

Interpretive waysides are outdoor exhibits which use text, quotes and illustrations to convey the history of a specific place to visitors exploring the whole park or to passers-by simply using a park route to reach another destination. Waysides may often be used, too, as interpretive aids by park rangers and others who are conducting walking tours for groups of visitors. These tour leaders may gather the visitors around the wayside and then expand on the topics and information presented in the wayside at length as they choose or their schedule allows.

Waysides are available 24 hours a day, focused to convey very precisely the most important historical information about a site, carefully placed in the most relevant, accessible, safe and sensitive locations and are more easily updated than other exhibits as research reveals more information about the topics they interpret. A wayside might consist of one panel or a cluster of panels depending upon the amount of material they are meant to convey.

When a wayside is determined to be the most appropriate interpretive approach, final objectives are planned and then text, quotes and illustrations are carefully developed/selected to support those objectives.

Potential objectives for waysides at the location of the house at 6th and Market Streets:

Potential locations for the waysides:

We will examine the area to determine the precise location for this wayside exhibit. We will want to insure that its placement is site-specific, that its installation will have no detrimental effect on the underground resources there, that it is in the safest and most assessable location for visitor use and that the important compelling story interpreted by the President's House wayside exhibit is not overpowered by the near-by outdoor exhibits interpreting the Liberty Bell.


Final Report
historic documents, declaration, constitution, more