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The Museum of the American Revolution plaza is officially open

The museum won’t open until April 2017

A crowd of hundreds standing in the plaza in front of the Robert A.M. Stern-designed Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.
The plaza at the Museum of the American Revolution has officially opened.
Photograph by Melissa Romero

The Museum of the American Revolution won’t officially open until next spring, but the construction fences surrounding it are now gone, allowing the public to enjoy the public plaza.

The museum’s plaza opened earlier today, two years after the corner of 3rd and Chestnut closed to the public for construction on the project. The museum was also dedicated to board chairman Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest, who donated $50 million to the $150 million campaign. Currently, $141 million has been raised.

Designed by landscape architecture firm Olin, the plaza is paved with bluestone and brick, which was salvaged from the original site, and wooden stadium-style benches. The opening also revealed a row of Revolutionary-era cannons that are displayed prominently at the corner in front of the museum.

A rendering of the public plaza in front of the Museum of the American Revolution in Old City, Philadelphia.
The bluestone and brick-paved plaza was features wooden benches and is surrounded by Valley Forge elm trees.
Rendering by Olin

Despite the ceremonial opening, there’s still some work to be done at the site. Some of the benches are still in need of finishing, and the newly-planted Valley Forge elm trees’ leaves were a bit brown, clearly in a bit of summer-weather shock.

One of the trees, dubbed "America’s Liberty Tree," was planted with soils from 15 or so different American Revolution sites.

The view of the public plaza at the Museum of the American Revolution, filled with hundreds of people, some sitting on a stadium-style wood-paneled bench.

In addition, two bronze sculptural panels will be installed later this fall. They’ll depict iconic paintings from the war.

Still, the plaza opening is a nice tease to the actual museum opening, which is set for April 19, 2017. Until then, consider the plaza as yet another space for visitors and locals alike to enjoy.