American Bible Society to Open New Philly Headquarters Next Week
Droves of pilgrims recently packed Independence Mall to hear Pope Francis speak, now it looks like those holy vibes will have a more permanent presence around the intersection of 5th and Market Street. The American Bible Society has announced that the company will open their new Philly digs at 401 Market Street at a ceremony planned for the morning of Wednesday, October 14.
The company has been in existence since 1816 and will lease space on the 8th and 9th floors of 401 Market Street. It will also open a retail space on the ground floor of the building dedicated to a Bible Discovery Center.
“The city of Philadelphia has welcomed American Bible Society with open arms, and we are thrilled to call this city home,” said Roy Peterson, American Bible Society’s president and CEO, in the announcement. “This new headquarters was designed to serve as the hub of our operations as we enter our third century of ministry and pursue a vision to see 100 million Americans engaging the Bible and 100 percent of the world’s languages translated for Bible engagement.”
Interestingly enough, the American Bible Society’s long-time headquarters was located at a prime piece of real estate at 1865 Broadway at 61st Street near Central Park in New York City, which they sold for $300 million in February in order to fund the move and further their mission.
The move provided one of our favorite quotes about why the American Bible Society ditched New York for Philadelphia, courtesy of Peterson via the Wall Street Journal:
The society plans to lease its new headquarters in a Philadelphia neighborhood filled with historic attractions, which Mr. Peterson said was only fitting. “People come to New York for shopping, for Broadway,” he said. “They don’t come to New York to learn about our nation’s history or the Bible.”
Peterson also explained in an interview with The Inquirer that it was tough for employees to live in New York City on a nonprofit salary, “People can afford to live here [in Philadelphia], it’s walkable, there’s public transportation.”
Current Mayor Michael Nutter will be joined by former Mayor Wilson Goode, deputy mayor for economic development Alan Greenberger and other company reps to cut the ribbon on the new headquarters.