Just in time for Independence Day, Philadelphia has renovated its Historic Philadelphia Center and Lights of Liberty Show. Created by Daroff Design Inc + DDI Architects, PC (DDI), the re-designed center pays tribute to the rich history of the American founding.
The center has traditionally served as a source for retail and information. The new design expands on the original purpose with a 360-degree, 3-D, 65-person, digital theater in the round. Its 50-ft.-wide, 8-ft.-high LED screen will provide a continuous loop of historic images and stories. It faces large, historic windows on 6th Sreet for an enticing invitation into the exhibit. Guests will enter this raised, circular viewing area via a gentle ramp. The digital images complement the live-actor living history performances typical of the center.
New retail space and visitor amenities were also added to the center, which stayed true to the beautiful historic elements of the site. The designers preserved the building’s Georgian Revival facade and wood-paneled, neoclassic interior, originally crafted by architect Horace Trumbauer. Arched windows and fluted wood columns remain as well, contrasting stylishly with the modern improvements.
The newly designed center opens for business this July. It sounds to me like an ideal remembrance of the rich past of the United States, especially as so many events of the American founding occurred in Philadelphia. Other nearby sights include the Betsy Ross House and Franklin Square. Have a Happy Fourth!