H I S T O R Y
S U M M A R Y OF INHP and Independence Mall E V O L U T I O N
1937 Plan for redevelopment of historic area drawn by Roy F. Larson
The Independence National Historical Park was created through an Act of Congress on June 28, 1948, and was formally established on July 4, 1956. During that time, properties were acquired and purchased resulting in a shift in the urban landscape from high concentration of built structures to the creation of open urban park spaces.
The mission of Independence National Historical Park is "to preserve its stories, buildings, and artifacts as a source of inspiration for visitors to learn more about the ideas and ideals that led to the American Revolution and the founding and growth of the United States."1
The creation of Independence Mall was a result of the 1962 urban redevelopment plan funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and designed for the state. Its design is derived from the 19th century Beauxs Arts city planning and early 20th century City Beautiful Movement. (It is important to note that INHP was not involved in the planning process of Independence Mall).
The New National Constitution Center, opened in 2003, was established by the Constitution Heritage Act of 1988, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan. This Act created the Center as an organization that further led to the creation of the National Constitution Center as an important national goal.
The following 4 figure-ground maps attempt to illustrate this evolution of urban space as a result of the physical planning and preservation decisions culminating into the developed open space and built fabric overtime.
FIGURE- GROUND MAPS:
1939 - prior to the creation of INHP;
1954 - process of creating INHP;
1978 - completion of INHP and Independence Mall; and
2004 - present urban fabric of INHP, Independence Mall, and the National Constitution Center.
Independence National Historical Park:
Bounded by Third Street and Sixth Street to the east and west, including Christ Church and the corner park from Market Street to 2nd Street. Located between Market Street and Walnut Street from north to south.
Located between 5th and 6th Streets from east to west, and from Market Street to Race Street, south to north.
National Constitution Center:
Located between 5th and 6th Streets from east to west, and from Arch Street to Race Street, south to north.
M A P LOCATION OF SAMPLE DEMOLISHED S T R U C T U R E S
(1) Vacant Upper Floor 5th and Market Streets, c. 1961
(2) "Deteriorated" Commercial Buildings on 6th Street North of Market, c. 1961
(3) 1950 Chestnut Frontage
(4) 1957 Chestnut Frontage (same view as above)
1993 Axonometric Drawing. Cultural Landscape Report for Independence Mall by Bill Marsh.
NOTE: Numbers (1 - 4) on axonometric map refer to the images above.
PHOTOGRAPHS: Pennsylvania. Philadelphia City Planning Commission: IndependenceMall Redevelopment Area Plan, October, 1962.