Museum of the American Revolution Honors Chairman

Filed under: Arts,Featured News,Latest News |

By Eldon Graham

Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest (right) were honored during the unveiling of the building dedication to them. In attendance were applauding board members including from left, Hon. Margaret (Peggy) Duckett, Philip S. Reese, Marion T. Lane, Martha McGeary Snider, and Governor Ed Rendell, admiring the stone. Photo by Eldon Graham.

Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest (right) were honored during the unveiling of the building dedication to them. In attendance were applauding board members including from left, Hon. Margaret (Peggy) Duckett, Philip S. Reese, Marion T. Lane, Martha McGeary Snider, and Governor Ed Rendell, admiring the stone. Photo by Eldon Graham

 

How America obtained its freedom is a story as old as the country itself. Long and brutal battles ravaged the land. Now, thanks to Philadelphia’s newest museum, the story of how 13 American colonies united to fight off the British Empire will soon be on display for visitors.

The Museum of the American Revolution will house a collection of Revolutionary War memorabilia, from actual cannons and other artillery used during the war to a number of George Washington’s personal belongings.

On the crisp, cool September morning, in the heart of Old City, the museum honored its Chairman of Board of Directors, H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest, and his wife, Marguerite. The Board of Directors dedicated the building to the Lenfests during a ceremony today at the museum’s open-air plaza.

Gerry Lenfest, chairman of the museum’s board and former owner of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com, has said he considered the museum the “missing link” that would tie together other historical establishments near the vicinity of the museum such as the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, National Constitution Center, other National Park Service sites, and area battlefields.

The crowd of attendends were certainly excited for the unveiling for the detication of the museum Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest as well as the plaza opening. Photo by Eldon Graham.

The crowd of attendees were certainly excited for the unveiling for the dedication of the museum Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest as well as the plaza opening. Photo by Eldon Graham

Thousands of historical objects, artifacts, artwork, and manuscripts will be shown in all their glory when the museum officially opens next year. To begin their celebration of leading up to the opening, the brass section of the Philly Pops serenaded the crowd with sounds of the American Revolution. Costumed historical figures, including the likes of George and Martha Washington and Benjamin Franklin, roamed the crowd as well.

Michael Quinn, President and CEO of the museum, began the ceremony by speaking fondly about the two individuals they were there to honor. “This building is a physical testament to the inspiring vision, unwavering support and tremendous generosity of Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest,” he said. “Gerry has been the museum’s most steadfast advocate from the very beginning, and we’re thrilled to be here today to name this beautiful building the Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest Building.” At the event, Quinn and other members of the board unveiled an engraved stone dedicating the museum as such. The stone is set in the walk next to the main entrance.

American Museum of Revolution President and CEO, Michael Quinn gave an inspiring speech about the Lenfests and all of their efforts they have done for the museum, as they look on seated next to Gov. Rendell. Photo by Eldon Graham

Michael Quinn gave an inspiring speech about the Lenfests and all of their efforts they have done for the museum, as they look on seated next to Gov. Rendell. Photo by Eldon Graham

The Lenfests have pledged $50 million to the museum, and have made other non-financial contributions as well. Their smiles, during the unveiling and cheering of those in attendance, were bright as the sunlight shining down during the ceremony. Their passion for the museum, as well as the city of Philadelphia, is just as colorful as the three colors that make up the American flag. They also received a rowdy “Hip-Hip-Huzzah” during the conclusion of the unveiling.

The Lenfests were heavily involved in the process of obtaining the site at Third and Chestnut streets. Major construction of the infrastructure took more than two years to complete; the doors to the museum will open in April.

Quinn also spoke about and honored the vast amount of people who contributed to the museum’s realization, including former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who was asked to be on the board. Rendell spoke about how long the building has been talk about being built. “This museum has been in the process of being built since I was in office – and I’ve been out of office for 15 years – so that’s a long time!” Rendell continued, “This is not just a museum for Philadelphia; it’s a museum for the entire country, because if it wasn’t for what went on, we wouldn’t be here.”

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