J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Independence Hall as You’ve Never Seen It Before

A comment last week reminded me of the Independence Mall in Wilmington, Delaware, a strip mall with the soul of a miniature golf course. It was designed in 1964 to look like a compact version of Carpenters’/Independence Hall connected to an old Philadelphia neighborhood full of little shops and townhouses.

The mall really shines after the Sun goes down behind the eagle-topped sign.
And I mean “really shines” literally. The Independence Hall part, which houses a replica of the Liberty Bell and a fondue restaurant named the Melting Pot, is lit up at night.
I’m sure that’s how Benjamin Franklin would have done it, if he had invented the electric bulb instead of the lightning rod.

(Here’s another, more prosaic picture from the parking lot, which gives a sense of scale.)

5 comments:

Rob Velella said...

As a former resident of Philadelphia and volunteer at Independence National Park, all I can say is... "wierd."

Susan Holloway Scott said...

That's lovely Independence Mall, all right, in its full patriotic glory on Rte 202. Though you found much more ... inspiring photographs of it than I did. *g*

J. L. Bell said...

And yet I feel that these images still don’t capture the full magic.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be anonymous for good reason.

I remember this as one of the landmarks when engaging in our yankee heritage of smuggling cheap Delaware wine & spirits back into Pennsylvania.

Did you see any state police in the parking lot?

J. L. Bell said...

I can’t say I was sensitive to that detail.