Independence National Historical Park will present preliminary designs for the site of the President's House during a meeting at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Seventh and Arch Streets, on Wednesday, January 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Interested members of the public will be able to see a presentation on the design and to comment or ask questions about the proposal.
Presidents Washington and Adams used the residence at 190 High Street (now Market Street) in Philadelphia as the Executive Mansion when Philadelphia was the nation's capital. Washington's household staff included servants paid wages for service, indentured servants and slaves Washington brought to Philadelphia from his home, Mount Vernon. After the beginning of the 19th century, the building became a hotel and was also used for shops until it was demolished in 1832.
Recent public interest in 190 High Street focussed on concerns that the existence of slavery at the site would not be adequately recognized. In the summer of 2002, the House Appropriations Committee called for the National Park Service to "appropriately commemorate" 190 High Street and the slaves who worked there.
INHP met with representatives of local groups to explore the themes and design possibilities for the site. These representatives included: Harry Harrison, of the African American Museum in Philadelphia; Stevie Wolf, representing the Ad Hoc Historians; Michael Coard, from Avenging the Ancestors Coalition; Karen Warrington, representing U.S. Representative Bob Brady; Tanya Hall of the Multicultural Affairs Congress and Ed Lawler, representing the Independence Hall Association.
Vincent Ciulla Design, an interpretive firm from Brooklyn, New York, and the Olin Partnership, developers of the master plan for Independence Mall worked with the participants to develop a preliminary design for the site.