One of Philadelphia’s most prized and popular tourist attractions is the National Constitution Center. Set at the end of a long stretch of grass and facing the building that is the exact birthplace of The United States, is the expansive building of a unique architecture. The National Constitution Center provides a hands-on experience for museum-goers to learn more about the Constitution. Although widely popular amongst tourists, the NCC has just as much to offer Philadelphians.
Pictured above is the National Constitution Center which opened for business on July 4, 2003. The concept was an idea nearly 100 years in the making. President Ronald Reagan signed into effect the Constitution Heritage Act of 1988, which paved the way for the construction of the building in 2000. According to the NCC’s website, the addressat 525 Arch Street represents the day the Constitutional Convention began in Philadelphia in 1787: May 25 or 5/25.
Comprised of 86,000 square feet of limestone and glass, the building itself is something to marvel at. With nearly 360 views of its spot in Old City, the Grand Hall Overlook, pictured above, is an excellent spot to marvel at the famed Philly skyline. Although an American landmark, the building also features an impressive collection of other nations’ flags from all over the world.
For the People
The staff are incredibly passionate about everything the National Constitution has to offer and strive to make its visitors excited about history.
“Our civic calendar operates ALL year long and there’s always these special occasions that come up that provide opportunities for people to celebrate their citizenship and learn a little more about what it means to be an American,” Mark Kehres, the Public Programs Trainer for the NCC said. “It’s all about helping people realize that this is their story too, that they have an active part to play.”
A First Hand Look
1787 doesn’t seem so long ago when inside Signers’ Hall. 46 life size, bronze statues of the famed signers of the Constitution stand (and sit) in this exhibit of the NCC, and look pretty real, too. If this isn’t enticing enough, just think of the endless possibilities for photo opps or “Signers Selfies” these guys provide. Mark Kehres likes this particular room best.
“I love that room because it’s a chance to get up close and personal with these figures from the past who are so influential,” said Kehres. “We don’t always think about them as human beings so it’s cool to see them in person.”
A Taste of History
The National Constitution Center has even more to offer than the history. Inside the building is Delegates’ Cafe, a cafeteria-style eatery. The Cafe offers a variety of menu options including the famous Philly cheesesteak. The museum admission fee is not required to check out everything Delegates’ Cafe has to offer which makes this a spot anyone can frequent to grab a bite to eat.
– Text and images by Tanya Hubbard and Courtney Regan.