Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
New York, New York
April 9, 2006
From journal Philadelphia Story
by Owen Lipsett
July 4, 2005
The museum has an incredibly spacious feel throughout, beginning with the large lobby you pass through to buy tickets or pick up ones you’ve purchased in advance. Admission is timed at half-hour increments, because it begins with the interactive "Freedom Rising" show. Any waiting time you have is actually an opportunity in disguise to visit the "Hall of Signers" which features life-sized bronze statues of the Constitution’s signers. The two most notable absentees are Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence (who approved of the document but was serving as Minister to France at the time), and George Mason, the so-called "Father of the Bill of Rights." Mason refused to sign the Constitution because it did not contain an enumeration of personal freedoms (the so-called Bill of Rights which was added in 1791) or establish a date to abolish slavery (unfortunately, this did not happen until the Constitution’s 13th Amendment in 1865).
I personally find "Freedom Rising," whose live narrator oversimplifies various issues amid an admittedly impressive interactive display, a bit over the top, but given the reactions of the rest of the audience, I have reason to suspect I may be a curmudgeonly minority of one. In any case, try to arrive well before your ticket time as there tends to be a line and you’re best off taking one of the seats near the top to allow yourself an easy exit into the superb main exhibition galleries. Don’t worry too much if you can’t – every seat has a great view and they’re very comfortable!
The Center’s permanent exhibitions don’t shy away from difficult issues. They primarily consist of interactive displays (the Center’s website claims that it has "17 hours of interactive content") accompanied by contemporary historical artifacts. These enable you to explore any issue in whatever depth suits you, making it an absolute joy to visit whether your level of expertise is that of a child or one of the center’s resident scholars. This makes it an ideal family activity, and given the heat of Philadelphia’s summers and its proximity to Independence Hall National Historic Park, one that I suspect will continue to grow more ever popular, as well it should!
Further information: http://www.constitutioncenter.org
From journal Philadelphia I: Essential Museums
brooklyn, New York
February 27, 2006
From journal Weekend in Philly
June 21, 2005
The Hall of Signers features life-size bronze statues of all the signers of the Constitution. We learned something here that neither one of us knew - Thomas Jefferson didn’t sign the Constitution. He is an easily recognizable figure, so we looked for him. We did find Ben Franklin, James Madison (who is tiny), George Washington, and Roger Sherman (our signer). There are computer screens where you can get more information about any of the men in the room. There was a ranger walking around and helping anyone who looked confused. The concept is a very good one, and you really feel like you are one of them.
Get to the theatre before your ticket time, as we found the line of children quite daunting. There are some exhibits on the ground floor surrounding the theater where you listen to different people who were living in Philadelphia at the time the Constitutional Convention was going on, and they are giving their opinion. This was very interesting, as none of them had any idea what the outcome was going to be. We take the Constitution so for granted. There are also displays built into the wall that show off some of the archeological items found during the building of the center.
"Freedom Rising" is an audio-visual production that also has a live narrator. The Theater is impressive. Seating is not only comfortable, but the spacing is such that everyone has totally unobstructed view of the narrator, who is spotlighted in the center of the floor. You will be looking up, down, and around while listening to a very interesting narrative. No photographs are allowed in this part of the building, but their website has some very good ones. This whole production is well done and has enough music and stimulation to keep children well entertained.
After the show, you go up to the exhibits surrounding the theater on the second floor. There are exhibits to listen to, voting booths so that kids can actually try voting, and a whole lot more. One I particularly liked was what political candidates are saying about each other, Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson just to name two, and it was fascinating stuff, nasty too. If you haven’t visited the Hall of Signers, you exit right into it.
From journal Phlashing in Philly
March 31, 2005
Before you enter the show, you need to go through the Kimmel Center. At the Center, you see a one-man show that's inspiring as well as entertaining. Then you walk up to the exhibit. The exhibits are so interactive, it's impossible to get bored. From moving faces where if you touch the face you get a bio of the person, to a place where you get to be sworn in as president, to a game, men vs. women on American history and the states.
We finished off the exhibit with a walk in Signers Hall. This has realistic bronze statues of all the men who signed the Constitution, and is also the only room where you can take pictures. Where's Jefferson, you ask? He was in Europe... he never signed. Fun, fun, fun!
From journal Philadelphia
December 4, 2006
From journal Weekend in Philadelphia
, Virginia, Turkey
December 5, 2003
After the presentation we exited through the upper doors and entered enter the DeVos Exhibit Hall . There were basically three different parts. We were told that if we passed the 11th grade history with a grade A we could skip the left hand side of the Hall that focused on the story of Constitution. The middle section had numerous multi-media interactive exhibits, which were really fun. We really liked the multi-media exhibit, which showed as if our friend was swearing in for Presidency on the inauguration day. There was the judge, and the audience, and the screen in front of our friend had the picture of the judge from front and captioning that he needed to follow.
Upon exiting the DeVos Exhibit Hall we entered the Signers Hall . This is the only exhibit hall you can take a picture. May be you are fond of Washington, or Benjamin Franklin, the local hero, here you can stand next to life size bronze statue of your hero and have a snapshot with him. My favorite is James Madison, as I saw him as the author of the constitution and he is short like me (only 5"4'). The hall contained 42 delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Before we exited we stopped to see one of the few 1787 newspaper printings of the Constitution. I was hoping to see a real copy, not a newspaper printing so I was a little bit disappointed. On our way to the stairs we saw the flags of each of the states and U.S. territories.
There is a closed parking lot near the entrance of National Constitution Center. Most of the street-side parking spots in the area were occupied on the Saturday we visited and most of them only allowed for a 2-hour maximum.
From journal Weekends in Philadelphia
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
November 13, 2011
From journal Philadelphia - the Birth of a Nation