Revolutionary War Museum Surrenders A final Revolutionary War battle has come to an end. Plans for a $200 million museum complex inside Valley Forge National Historical Park — where George Washington's army once camped — have been scrapped. After vocal opposition and legal challenges, the planned American Revolution Center will now be built about 25 miles away, in the heart of Philadelphia.
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Revolutionary War Museum Surrenders

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Revolutionary War Museum Surrenders

Revolutionary War Museum Surrenders

Revolutionary War Museum Surrenders

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A final Revolutionary War battle has come to an end. Plans for a $200 million museum complex inside Valley Forge National Historical Park — where George Washington's army once camped — have been scrapped. After vocal opposition and legal challenges, the planned American Revolution Center will now be built about 25 miles away, in the heart of Philadelphia.

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

From member station WHYY in Philadelphia, Peter Crimmins reports the battle's finally come to an end.

PETER CRIMMINS: Suddenly this week, the National Park Service announced a deal had been struck. A museum would not be built in Valley Forge, but rather at Third and Chestnut Streets in downtown Philadelphia.

(SOUNDBITE OF STREET VEHICLES)

CRIMMINS: Park Service spokesman Phil Sheridan says the government is going to trade an acre of urban real estate with the ARC.

PHIL SHERIDAN: The land we're standing on will no longer belong to the American people. It'll belong to the American Revolution Center. And the 78 acre parcel they own inside the boundary of Valley Forge will go to the National Park Service for the American people.

CRIMMINS: But Lenfest says the damage was done.

GERRY LENFEST: With that cloud over our head, we couldn't really go out and run a campaign to raise money. Well, you know, the National Park Conservation Association sort of hamstrung us. But this is a better location than Valley Forge and we're all extremely excited.

CRIMMINS: However, it leaves Valley Forge kind of in the cold. The local Chamber of Commerce and the town council were hoping a museum would boost the number of visitors to the area. The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation oversees both downtown Philadelphia and Valley Forge. CEO Meryl Levitz says Valley Forge officials could still use the downtown museum to their advantage.

MERYL LEVITZ: They could think of it as they now have an outpost right on Independence Mall that can get more people to go out to Valley Forge, which is something they didn't have before.

CRIMMINS: For NPR News, I'm Peter Crimmins in Philadelphia.

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