To prepare for public involvement, the National Park Service develops initial proposals. Often, this early development is done with the help of design consultants. Because of the high public interest in the President's House site, however, we included in this preliminary planning representatives of several groups who had publicly expressed interest, including the Avenging the Ancestors Coalition, the Multicultural Affairs Congress, the Ad Hoc Historians, and the Independence Hall Association.
At this initial meeting, the group developed a consensus about the major interpretive themes for the site, including the house and the people who lived and worked there, African Americans in Philadelphia, and the system and methods of slavery in Philadelphia and in the Washington household.
The next step will be refining these ideas into drawings, which the National Park Service will present at a public meeting in January.
We will continue working with both the interested groups and with the general public to achieve that end.