The new Museum of the American Revolution is home to many of George Washington’s personal belongings.
If the presidential election left you wondering how government works, then Old City’s new Museum of the American Revolution, opening on April 19, may hold a few of the answers. Former governor Ed Rendell serves on the museum board and has been involved in the project since his early days in office. “It’s filled with one great story after another—and these are stories that need to be told,” he says. Here, Dr. R. Scott Stephenson, the museum’s VP of exhibits, details the top stops.
MUST-DO: PHOTO OPPS Boston’s famed Liberty Tree, a re-creation of Independence Hall during the British occupation, and a towering replica of an 18th-century ship are just a few of the museum’s major selfie moments. Says Stephenson: “This is a sensory experience: What was it like to stand under the Liberty Tree? Or sit in a chair in Independence Hall?” Outside, take a photo astride one of the cannons that decorate the museum’s permanent welcome pedestal.
MUST-GO: TENT TALK Tucked behind glass in a dedicated 100-seat theater, the centerpiece of this vast collection is the sizable headquarters tent where George Washington conducted business and slept during much of the war. “This was essentially another home of Washington’s,” says Stephenson. The tent was made in Reading and used by Washington for nearly five years. Some historians even call it the first Oval Office.
MUST-SEE: UP IN ARMS “We have an amazing collection of 50 weapons never displayed in public before that trace the history of the arms that won our independence,” says Stephenson, who encourages visitors to check out what he calls a hi-def, touchscreen “virtual petting zoo” for artifacts. Third and Chestnut Streets, 215-253-6731