Commercial Use Authorizations

Independence National Historical Park will allow a limited number of businesses to provide specific commercial services in Washington Square under the legislation authorizing Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) found at 16 U.S.C. 5966. These procedures do not apply to informal neighborhood walking/social groups of fewer than 25 participants that do not charge fees.

Upon submission of NPS Form 10-550, the Park Superintendent will evaluate each request and a limited number of CUAs will be issued for services that:

(1) are determined to be an appropriate use of the park area.

(2) will have minimal impact on park resources and values.

(3) are consistent with the purpose for which the park was established, as well as all applicable management plans, park policies and regulations.

A list of the services approved for the Washington Square location includes:

1. Yoga exercise sessions

2. Walking and strolling exercises

3. Tai Chi

4. Karate

General in place exercise sessions

The following limitations will apply:

Activities which involve the throwing, hitting or kicking of baseballs, soccer balls, footballs, golf balls or other similar sports is not authorized.

Services provided under CUAs will be limited to groups of no more than 30 people per session.

Authorized use of Washington Square will be limited to two groups at a time, only during designated hours; during peak visitation hours, no commercial activity will be permitted.

Specific Guidelines:

1. Activities are prohibited in the fountain and memorial area. Conducting activity in the area of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution is grounds for immediate termination of the CUA.

2. Authorized activity is limited to the designated area of Washington Square specified in the Commercial Use Authorization.

3. Authorized activity is limited to the designated time specified in the Commercial Use Authorization. Provisions will not be made for inclement weather. Rescheduling of authorized activities will not be approved.

4. Nothing may be attached to, tied to, leaned against, or in any other way, affixed to any park property, including benches, trees, shrubbery, light poles, buildings, memorials, waysides, signs, etc.

5. The commercial services must originate and terminate outside of the boundaries of the park area.

6. The CUA does not authorize the holder to advertise, solicit business, collect fees, or sell any goods or services within the boundaries of the park area.

7. The authorization holder is not entitled to any preference of renewal of their CUA.

8. The holder shall not construct any structures, fixtures or improvements in the designated area.

9. The holder shall not engage in any ground breaking or ground penetrating activities.

10. Commercial notices may not be displayed, posted or distributed on park property.

11. Authorized activity must be open to park visitors (information about approved CUA activity will be listed on the park’s website, with information for park visitors to contact the vendor).

The National Park Service is required by law to recover the costs of issuing, managing and monitoring Commercial Use Authorizations. In order to do so, the following costs will be assessed to CUA applicants:

1. Administrative Charge: $150.00

Covers the costs associated with application processing and administrative management, including scheduling of CUAs issued by the park. This fee is non-refundable and due upon submission of the Authorization.

2. Monitoring Charge: $500.00

The costs associated with monitoring and enforcing the terms, provisions and conditions of the CUA. Initial payment must be received upon approval of the Authorization. Thereafter, holders will be billed in June of each year. Payment is due within 30 days of billing.

The CUA holder will agree to carry general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000.00 against claims occasioned by the action or omissions of the CUA holder, its agents and employees in carrying out activities and operations under this authorization. The policy shall name the United States of America, Independence national Historical Park, 143 South Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, as additional insured. CUA applicant will submit a copy of the above policy prior to issuance of the CUA.

Commercial Use Authorization Application

Last updated: August 9, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

143 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106


(215) 965-2305

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