The Friends of Independence National Historic Park say the new exhibit "The President's House" should open in 2010 as long as supporters raise an additional two to three million dollars to complete the project.
National Parks' regional director Dennis Reidenbach attended the Friends' annual meeting on Wednesday night and spoke about what an important shift it will be to have the exhibit on the house where George Washington stayed in Philadelphia — with its slave quarters — as part of Independence Park:
"For a long time the National Park service preferred stories of celebration rather than controversy, but we've seen increased interest, involvement, and relevance for people as we begin to address the fuller context of history."
Thousands of people got involved in plans for the exhibit, after a lobbying effort to include the stories of Washington's slaves. Public input prompted changes which have added millions to the cost and pushed back the completion date but also promise to attract many visitors.