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Major Expansions, Modernizations And Exhibitions Make 2010 A Year To Remember


PHILADELPHIA, October 22, 2009 – As the first decade of the new millennium winds to a close, some of Philadelphia’s most venerated cultural and historical institutions are gearing up to spend the coming decade newly energized and outfitted for a tech-savvy, sophisticated new generation of visitors. Throughout Historic Philadelphia, Center City and Philadelphia’s countryside, tourist attractions are launching revolutionized technological experiences, adding thousands of square feet to their display areas, moving their collections both around the block and miles away and showcasing blockbuster art exhibitions. Collectively, they continue to tell the story of the citizens of Philadelphia, America and the world who seek to create freedom, equality and beauty—only now their enduring messages can be better appreciated within a modern context.


What’s more, two new hotels in Center City—Le Méridien Philadelphia and Hotel Palomar Philadelphia—give visitors more options as they plan their Philadelphia getaway and book hotel accommodations at


Historic Philadelphia:

1.      The Lights of Liberty will shine ever brighter after a complete overhaul of the historically themed nighttime ambulatory light-and-sound show, set to launch in the July 2010. A major digital upgrade will make the only show of its kind even more dazzling as participants wearing
3-D sound headsets tour the outside of several of Independence National Historical Park’s most significant buildings to see and hear recreations of the events that took place during the nation’s founding. Summer will also mark the debut of an indoor Lights of Liberty show, with the details to be announced closer to next year’s summer season. Liberty Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets, (215) 629-5801,

2.      While Philadelphia is always an ideal place to celebrate Independence Day, 2010 will be one for the history books, thanks to the scheduled ribbon cutting on the much-anticipated President’s House Commemorative Site on Independence Mall. Beginning July 4, 2010, the site will be open around the clock so that visitors can see the exposed underground remains of the home where Presidents Washington and Adams lived during their terms. Through interpretive panels, videos and a spot for silent reflection, the site recognizes the nine slaves who served two presidents who were ironically leading the young country in its pursuit of freedom and equality at the same time. 6th & Market Streets, (215) 597-0060,

3.      When the new National Museum of American Jewish History opens in November 2010, visitors to Independence Mall will notice a striking glass façade reflecting the accessibility of the museum, the openness of America and the perennial fragility of democracy. Inside, intriguing permanent and changing exhibitions, rare artifacts and interactive displays will mark the trials and triumphs of American Jews through every phase of our country’s history. The 100,000-square-foot, five-story museum welcomes all people, inviting them to discover what they have in common with the Jewish experience in America, as well as to explore the features that make this history distinctive. 55 N. 5th Street, (215) 923-3811,


Center City:

4.      The Philadelphia Museum of Art continues its tradition of hosting major traveling exhibitions that lure art lovers from around the country with two blockbuster shows scheduled for 2010.  Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris, on view February 24 through April 25, 2010, pulls from the museum’s own collection and from loans by individuals and explores the decades between 1905 and 1945—the period some consider to be the artist’s most productive and influential. 26th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100,

5.      The second Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition makes one of two U.S. stops in Philadelphia from June 17 through September 6, 2010. Late Renoir follows Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s later years as he considered his legacy and created masterpieces that draw comparisons to those of the old masters. With 100 works of art, including 20 by avante-garde painters like Matisse and Picasso, who drew inspiration from his artistry, Late Renoir paints a portrait of the artist as innovator, teacher and elder artistic statesman. 26th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, (215) 763-8100,

6.      The Franklin Institute ushers in spring 2010 with two brand-new permanent exhibitions. In Electricity and Changing Earth, visitors will experience the wonder of electricity and the forces changing Earth, all while exploring how the choices people make today impact tomorrow. When the completely reimagined Electricity exhibit returns in mid-March, curious guests can manipulate electrical phenomena, light up a sustainable dance floor, view authentic historical artifacts and tackle questions of sustainable electricity generation and use. After a long hiatus, Changing Earth will return to the museum as well, examining the interconnectedness of water, air and land. Aspiring meteorologists can immerse themselves in the powerful sensory experiences of Earth’s changes through a fog screen, a climate change multimedia game and a weather prediction reporting station. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200,


Philadelphia Countryside:

7.      Philadelphia Union, the nation’s 16th Major League Soccer team, kicks off its first season during a nationally televised away match on March 25, 2010, and then plays its first home game two weeks later. To generate excitement and to provide seating to a greater number of fans, Philadelphia Union has partnered with the Philadelphia Eagles football team to play that inaugural home opener (on April 10, 2010, against conference rivals D.C. United) and several major games at the Eagles’ stadium, Lincoln Financial Field in South Philly. Once the 18,500-seat soccer stadium being built in Chester is complete in spring, Union players will play most of their regular season games there. Spectators at the new stadium will benefit from views of the Delaware River, a restaurant, 30 luxury suites, a club section and dedicated areas for tailgating, picnicking and music. Chester Waterfront, [Back to Press Releases Main]