National Park Service Seeks Public Comments on Land Transfer with the National Center for the American Revolution
The National Park Service requests public comments on the arrangement made earlier this year for a land exchange that will affect Valley Forge National Historical Park and Independence National Historical Park. The NPS would exchange 78 acres of land within the Valley Forge NHP boundary now owned by the National Center for the American Revolution for a property now owned by the federal government at 3rd and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia. The exchange would allow full preservation of the land within Valley Forge and also allow the establishment of the American Revolution Museum on the land in Philadelphia. The agreement is in principle and gives the parties the ability to decide to follow through with the exchange, after researching the details, including the current appraised value of the properties.
Members of the public are invited to send comments in writing regarding the land exchange between the National Park Service and the National Center for the American Revolution and to attend a public information session on the subject. The session will be held on November 2, 2009 in the Independence Living History Center, at 3rd and Chestnut Streets, from 4 to 7 p.m. This meeting is open to the public, and all are invited to attend and offer comments.
Written comments on this undertaking will be accepted through November 6, 2009, at the following address or electronically through park planning.
Independence National Historical Park
ATTN: American Revolution Center Public Comments
143 South 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
More about the Land Transfer Agreement
On June 29, 2009 the National Park Service (NPS) and the National Center for the American Revolution (ARC) agreed in principle to initiate a land exchange that will affect two national parks: Valley Forge National Historical Park and Independence National Historical Park.
By the terms of the agreement, ARC agrees to convey to the United States clear and marketable title to a tract of some 78 acres located within Valley Forge NHP north of the Schuylkill River. Once acquired by the federal government, the parcel would be managed and preserved for its cultural and natural values.
In exchange, the United States agrees to convey to ARC title to the Independence Living History Center and certain surrounding land currently within the boundaries of Independence NHP. The land is bounded by Third Street on the west, Chestnut Street on the north, American Street on the east and, on the south, a severance line that runs between discrete sections of the building. Once this exchange is complete, the ARC parcel would be a private inholding within the boundary of Independence NHP. ARC intends to establish the American Revolution Museum on this site.
While the specific plans for the future of the building are still being refined, the NPS has proposed a number of deed restrictions and rights reserved by the United States. Designed by Cambridge Seven as the park’s visitor center and opened in 1975, the Independence Living History Center does not contribute to the National Register of Historic Places significance of the park, nor is it included on Independence NHP’s List of Classified Structures, an internal list of historic or register-eligible properties within the park. A copy of the referenced agreement, a map of the proposed area at Independence NHP showing the severance line, a map of the proposed area at Valley Forge NHP, and the list of proposed deed restrictions for the property are posted below.