On January 5, 2024, the National Park Service posted a notice for 14-day comments on their website about the home of William Penn, who founded the Pennsylvania colony. The park is named for the ship, Welcome, which Penn took to Philadelphia in 1682.
“The National Park Service proposes to rehabilitate Welcome Park to provide a more welcoming, accurate, and inclusive experience for visitors,” the NPS wrote on their website. “Welcome Park was designed by the internationally acclaimed design firm Venturi & Scott Brown Associates. The park is located on the site of William Penn’s home, the Slate Roof House, and is named for the ship, Welcome, which transported Penn to Philadelphia. The design and construction of Welcome Park was funded by the Independence Historical Trust and was completed in 1982.”
“The proposed rehabilitation of Welcome Park includes expanded interpretation of the Native American history of Philadelphia and was developed in consultation with representatives of the indigenous nations of the Haudenosaunee, the Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe of Indians, the Shawnee Tribe, and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma,” the notice added. “The reimagined Welcome Park maintains certain aspects of the original design such as the street grid, the rivers and the east wall while adding a new planted buffer on three sides, and a ceremonial gathering space with circular benches. The Penn statue and Slate Roof house model will be removed and not reinstalled. In a separate and future effort, new exhibit panels will be installed on the south site wall to replace the Penn timeline.”
Back in 2017 then President Trump commented on the left wanted to take down statues.
“I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it,” Trump said. “And you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I’ll say it right now. You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.
“They were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” he continued. “This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
Trump held that stance and was ridiculed, and now looks. The Biden administration is tearing down the statue of William Penn.
UPDATED: The William Penn Statue will no longer be torn down.
Breaking Update: William Penn statue not being moved from the park on site of where Penn’s home stood in Old City Philadelphia. “No changes to the William Penn statue are planned.” 1/2 pic.twitter.com/cZEHUox3EP
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) January 8, 2024