Philadelphia’s President’s House exhibit on Independence Mall is slated to open on Dec. 6, organizers said Friday.
“President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in Making a New Nation” has been eight years in the making, going back to a January 2002 article in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography that offered detailed evidence of presence of nine enslaved people in what had been the home of George Washington.
The house, since torn down, had been on the southeast corner of 6th and Market streets — a parcel that today is just steps from the entrance to the Liberty Bell Center.
An interpretative center is under construction, at a cost of $8.5 million. The design was by Philadelphia-based Kelly/Maiello Architects and Planners.
The exhibit interpretation has been developed by Kansas City, Mo.-based Eisterhold Associates Inc. Lead historians were Gary Nash of the University of California-Los Angeles and Spencer Crew of George Mason University.
A video installment will give visitors insight into what life was like in the house. The videos were created by Philadelphia-based Scribe Video Center director Louis Massiah, who collaborated with author Lorene Cary.
“Our charge was to use the historical evidence to explore the lives of the men, women, and children who were held in bondage in that house, as well as those who escaped with the help of Philadelphia's free black community,” said Massiah.