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Message from CEO & President

Happy New Year from the Independence Visitor Center! We believe that since our opening two years ago, the Independence Visitor Center has provided a powerful informational vehicle for an industry that is the second largest for Pennsylvania. We are the natural physical extension of the region's marketing efforts that attracts our visitors here. We will continue to sell the region while our visitors experience it. In 2003, we served more than 1.8 million people. We look forward to working with you in 2004 and strengthening our partnerships. 

Bill Moore 

January 2004 | Issue 2

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Philadelphia in the 1800s

In partnership with the National Park Service, the Independence Visitor Center has on exhibit a set of original Birch prints depicting Philadelphia in the 1800s. To publicize Philadelphia's prosperity and sophistication, artist William Russell Birch and his son, Thomas Birch, prepared sets of engraved city scenes and sold them by subscription in 1799-1800. In Birch's time, Philadelphia was America's financial and political center. Art, science, and philanthropy also flourished here with the creation of America's first hospital, medical school, art academy, fire insurance company, lending library, and scientific society.

Although time has changed it, the Philadelphia that Birch knew remains for us to rediscover. The set of 24 prints captures Philadelphia's handsome public buildings, vibrant streets and bustling ports. Some of the scenes portrayed still exist; others have become part of the urban landscape and some have disappeared.

The Birch prints will be on view to the public now through the spring of 2004, during Visitor Center operation hours in the changing exhibit area across from the National Park Service information desk.

Visitor Center Revises Web Site

Have you seen the revised Independence Visitor Center web site? The site includes virtual tours of the Visitor Center, online hotel bookings, driving directions, ticket and tour information, and enhanced navigation. To view the site, visit


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Independence Visitor Center 
One North Independence Mall West
6th and Market Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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