A deal to bring the American Revolution Center to Philadelphia’s historic district should be finalized next week, when two parties put the finishing touches on a land swap.
Last year the museum abandoned plans to build on a 78-acre site on Pawlings Road in Lower Providence Township. It’s privately owned, but within the boundaries congress has set for Valley Forge National Historical Park. The deal to build in center city hinges on swapping that land for a parcel of less than an acre at Third and Chestnut Streets, and the money changes hands next week, prior to a public ceremony in Center City marking the start of planning for the new museum. The federal government will pay the American Revolution Center $3.21 million for the Lower Providence site. The National Park Service will then own it. The National Parks Conservation Association and several local property owners filed a lawsuit to block building at the Valley Forge site, saying the museum and related conference center would harm wildlife, wetlands and historic ground. The ARC said the litigation was hampering a fundraising drive, and selecting the Center City site gave it a fresh start.