News Release

Independence National Historical Park begins upgrades to park heating and cooling systems, intermittent closures expected

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Date: April 10, 2024
Contact: Andrew McDougall, 215-435-4372

PHILADELPHIA — The National Park Service will soon break ground on a $14 million project at Independence National Historical Park to upgrade and replace the park’s extensive heating and cooling infrastructure and implement new energy conservation measures.

The project, funded by the Great American Outdoors Act’s (GAOA) Legacy Restoration Fund, will help preserve the park’s landmark buildings and provide comfort for the almost five million people who visit them annually as the park prepares to for an influx of visitors associated with the upcoming 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.

Construction activities are not expected to impact visitors at Independence Hall or the Liberty Bell Center, but some temporary and intermittent closures in other areas of the park are expected as the project progresses. The location and timing of any visitor interruptions will be available on our website at       

Much of the park’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment dates back at least 50 years. The current system requires that high-pressure steam be transported 2.5 miles to the park with the steam condensate waste eventually disposed into the city sewer system. As a result of the project, that will no longer be required, as there will be a new closed loop system created that will generate hot water that will be pumped through multiple buildings and recycled, along with multiple HVAC equipment repairs and replacements and the updating of the automated systems that control them. Undertaking this project will ultimately reduce both the park’s energy consumption and utility costs and allow the park to more readily and efficiently upgrade its heating and cooling systems as technology evolves into the future.

The National Park Service is committed to promoting clean and efficient energy solutions that complement the Biden-Harris administration’s goals of reducing reliance on fossil fuel and addressing the climate crisis. The National Park Service has planned for this project since 2015 and is using tools provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. For information about Independence National Historical Park, visit the park website at

Celebrating 75 years: Our history is America's history. 
A unit of the National Park Service, Independence National Historical Park was created 75 years ago by an Act of Congress on June 28, 1948.  Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Independence NHP covers almost 54 acres in Philadelphia’s Old City, and includes Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Congress Hall, Franklin Court, and other historic buildings associated with the founding of the United States. Events, programs and special exhibits which celebrate our 75th Anniversary will be held throughout the year. For more information on our 75th Anniversary events, visit the park’s website, or follow us on social media by searching @IndependenceNHP. 

Last updated: April 10, 2024

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