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Source: KYW Newsradio 1060
Date: April 27, 2008
Byline: Karin Phillips

Photos Show President's House Site on Independence Mall in a Different Light

A collection of photographs of the excavation of the President's House site is now on display in the Independence Visitors Center. But these photos might not be what you'd expect.

Visitors are getting another chance to see the unexpected discoveries found under Independence Mall, at the site of the old President's House, near 6th and Market Streets.

The site was excavated during the late spring and summer of 2007, then reburied later that year with a lightly packed layer of soil to preserve the artifacts until a permanent shelter for the area can be built.

But photographer John Dowell says the new exhibit is also intended to show the hypocrisy in America's history, by showing the site in panoramic views next to important buildings on Independence Mall.

And, Dowell says, he shot most of the photos by night to signify the lack of exposure given to George Washington's enslaved Africans, then and now:

"To me, it was like the evening time is the time when, in my head, the master goes to bed, (the slaves) start doing things and they have some semblance of freedom."

Dowell says the lack of attention given to the slaves of the Founding Fathers makes him angry:

"This information, if given to the right people and better books are written, we can have, instead of a brilliant young black kid running a drug thing, he'll be in a university and be CEO of a bank."

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