Opening Date for Museum of the American Revolution Set

Gerry Lenfest also announced a $10 million challenge grant.

Museum of the American Revolution rendering at night

A rendering of the finished building, currently under construction. | Photo courtesy Museum of the American Revolution

The Museum of the American Revolution has an opening date.

Yesterday the museum, located at 3rd and Chestnut streets, announced it will open on April 19th, 2017. That will be the 242nd anniversary of “the shot heard ’round the world,” the date of the first battles in the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord.

The museum additionally announced that H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest — media entrepreneur, philanthropist and owner of Philadelphia Media Network — had donated $10 million to the museum. He had previously made gifts of a $40 million matching grant and $9 million in earlier commitments.

“Thanks to Gerry’s tremendous generosity, the Museum of the American Revolution will open on April 19, a date that marks the beginning of one of the most important and exciting stories in history,” Michael Quinn, the museum’s president, said in a news release. “At last, this priceless collection of artifacts — a century in the making — will be available to the millions of people who come to Philadelphia from around the world to learn about America’s founding.”

Much like his earlier $40 million donation, the $10 million is a challenge grant — the museum must raise an additional $10 million to get the funds. “I am so grateful to those who have joined me in supporting this important cause,” Lenfest said. “The story of our nation’s founding and its enduring legacy must be understood, and there is no better place to experience that story than historic Philadelphia.”

The museum plans to display various artifacts from the Revolutionary War, including General Washington’s Headquarters Tent, firearms from the era, the first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence, and a wooden canteen from a soldier with “UStates” on it. Additionally, the museum says it will “use immersive galleries, dynamic theaters, and re-created environments to bring to life the events, people and ideals of our nation’s founding.”

The site of the new museum was formerly the Independence Living History Center, a park service welcome center for the historic district. Robert A.M. Stern did the design for the new museum, which has been under construction since the spring of 2014.

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