New Hands-On Discovery Center “Revolution Place” to Open June 9May 7, 2018
PHILADELPHIA, MAY 7, 2018 — What was life like in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War? Opening Saturday, June 9, the Museum of the American Revolution’s new discovery center, Revolution Place, brings to life the Museum’s lively, diverse Old City neighborhood during the 1700s and invites visitors to learn through hands-on exploration.
Revolution Place features four key recreated historical environments – a military encampment, a tavern, a home, and an 18th-century meeting house – to immerse and engage families, especially kids 5 – 12 years-old, in the places where the American Revolution took root. Visitors will enjoy experiential elements, interactive touchscreens, reproduction objects, and special programming set against colorful murals that evoke scenes from 18th-century Philadelphia, including a marketplace and a residential alley.
Revolution Place is located on the Museum’s lower level in the John M. Templeton Jr. Education Center, which also includes two large multipurpose classrooms for students and other groups. It is supported in part with multi-media experiences, historical records, and funding from FamilySearch International, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Learning about our ancestors helps us better understand who we are and where we are headed as a nation,” said Steve Rockwood, President and CEO of FamilySearch International. “We are delighted to support the Museum of the American Revolution in this effort to help people discover who they are by exploring where they come from. Whether or not your ancestors were involved in the American Revolution, we are all inheritors of the Revolutionary promises of liberty, equality and self-government.”
Revolution Place also will be the stage for dynamic daily programs including story times, art and craft projects, and interactions with the Museum’s costumed educators. These programs will enliven the space and highlight life in Philadelphia at the time of the Revolutionary War.
Revolution Place will officially open to the public on Saturday, June 9, and will be available from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (opens at 9:30 a.m. Friday – Sunday beginning June 16) from June 9 through September 3 (fall and winter hours will be announced). It is free with regular Museum admission. Tickets to the Museum are available for purchase here.
During opening weekend for Revolution Place on Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10, the Museum will host “Liberation 1778,” a living history event. With costumed historical interpreters inside the Museum and on the outdoor plaza, the event will mark the liberation of Philadelphia by American forces in 1778 after it was occupied by the British for nine long months.
“Revolution Place extends the immersive, hands-on experience of the Museum’s core exhibition to our younger visitors. The new center encourages playful discovery through a range of self-directed and facilitated experiences, all set within the historic spaces and places of the Museum’s own neighborhood,” said Dr. Elizabeth Grant, Director of Education at the Museum. “The Museum is committed to offering rich learning experiences for people of all ages, and we look forward to welcoming visitors as they explore Revolutionary Philadelphia with us this summer.”
Four Key Sections of Revolution Place:
- Join the Continental Army! At a digital touchscreen, sign your name to an enlistment form using a quill pen, swear an enlistment oath, find out how Continental soldiers were paid, clothed, and equipped.
- Climb inside a recreated soldier’s tent to experience what it would have been like to sleep there, dress up in uniforms and civilian clothes, and pretend to do laundry at a washtub while learning about the women and children who were often encamped with the army.
- Discover if others with your family name served in the Continental Army.
- Learn how the Revolutionary War affected people’s faith in a recreation of a non-denominational 18th-century church. Sit in pews or stand at the pulpit while learning how religiously diverse and free Philadelphia was during the Revolutionary era.
- At two window-shaped “People of Faith” digital touchscreens, explore the stories of seven men and women whose faith impacted their involvement in the Revolution, including those who were Jewish, Presbyterian, Anglican, Muslim, Quaker, African Episcopal, and Catholic.
- In the church yard, view the gravestones of several people who died during the Revolution (note the British officer who died at age 30 following the British occupation of Philadelphia and the woman who lived to 102).
Three Tun Tavern:
- Enter a recreation of Three Tun Tavern which was located across Chestnut Street from the Museum.
- Learn how taverns functioned as places where Revolutionary ideas and news were discussed, and where people came together to talk and make decisions.
- On the digital tabletops, place replica objects – including a tea cup, a porcelain bowl, a twist of tobacco and a man’s wallet, among other items – on an animated period map to learn where and how they were produced and used, and who might have used them. Watch ships sail across the digital screens to learn about trade routes that were used to move goods during the Revolutionary War.
- Handle reproduction newspapers from the period to prompt conversations about Revolutionary topics.
- See objects that would have been used in a 1700s tavern, including cups, bottles, bowls, plates, and decanters, in a recreated colonial “cage bar.”
- Enter a recreated parlor to experience home life during the Revolutionary War era. Sit around the table while learning manners and customs of the period.
- At a digital touchscreen, explore a map of the block where Museum sits and learn about the owners of each parcel of land.
- At a recreated privy – an 18th-century outhouse – see where people threw their trash and view objects from the archaeological excavation of the Museum’s site, such as a ceramic mug, porcelain tea cup, a Philadelphia redware plate and a white salt-glazed stoneware plate.
Revolution Place was designed in collaboration with Metcalfe Architecture & Design, LLC, in Philadelphia.
About the Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dynamic story of the American Revolution using its rich collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, letters, diaries, and works of art. Immersive galleries, theater experiences, and recreated historical environments bring to life the events, people, and ideals of our nation’s founding and engage people in the history and continuing relevance of the American Revolution. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, Carpenters’ Hall, and Franklin Court, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit www.AmRevMuseum.org or call 877.740.1776.
About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-drive organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch’s free services and resources online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.