A New Idea for an Old Shrine

Independence Hall no longer needs to be saved. An informed public will not permit destruction, nor even slight change without the most exhaustive study and research. But Independence Hall needs care in a larger sense. The Association wants to put it into a proper setting, by removing unsightly buildings that were long out-mode and have ceased to be useful. These plans are here first submitted for the consideration of the public.

Other projects went less smoothly. Boyd continued to pursue one legacy of the Sons of the American Revolution committee: the scheme for lowering the Liberty Bell into a bomb-proof vault. However, there was growing protest about disturbing the Liberty Bell. Eventually the city vetoed the project on the grounds that the excavation might imperil the foundations of Independence Hall.

Progress was also discouragingly slow on the legislative front, although, under the tutelage of Isidor Ostroff, the organization launched an aggressive lobbying campaign. Ostroff, the Democratic district leader who had persuaded Sacks to introduce his bill wrote to Lewis a few days after reading about the formation of the Independence Hall Association. Lewis suggested a meeting. He quickly persuaded Ostroff to join the organization in promoting their common cause, naming him liaison to Congress. Obviously Ostroff could be useful. The judge was a Republican; the Congress and administration were Democrats.

Money was a persistent problem. There were no major gifts in the early years, and attempts to secure financial assistance from the city were unavailing. Despite its lack of funding, the Independence Hall Association began to push hard for legislation. Repeated appeals to elected officials during the war years failed in the face of opposition from the administration, as expressed through the Bureau of the Budget. Even when the end of the war came in sight in 1944 and the administration relented, impressed by the proposal's strong local support, the legislation did not have high priority.