THAT'S IT. TOURISM WAS SOLD THESE SEVERAL DECADES SINCE JIMMY CARTER TIED US LAND TO UNESCO. NOW THAT VALUE HAS CHANGED AND UNESCO WANTS THAT REAL ESTATE FOR PROFITS.
We will look at each US UNESCO designated area to think how WORLD BANK would find these sites profitable to extremely rich global 1% when tourism is NOT THE GOAL.
Remember, WORLD BANK is not full of PEACE, LOVE, AND UNDERSTANDING---DEFINITELY NOT WELL-BEING OF 99% WE THE PEOPLE.
World Bank and UNESCO: Expanding Opportunities for ...
Jul 01, 2011 · “By joining forces, UNESCO and the World Bank can provide very positive input for the improvement of aid effectiveness, and make the most of culture as a motor for social development and poverty alleviation, through employment and job creation.
World Bank - UNESCO cooperation on ICT and education
The World Bank has enjoyed a close and productive multi-year partnership with UNESCO exploring issues related to the use of ICTs in education.
World Bank, UNESCO Institute for Statistics Join Forces to ...
PARIS July 4, 2019 – The World Bank and UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) today announced a new partnership to help countries strengthen their learning assessment systems, better monitor what students are learning in internationally-comparable ways and improve the breadth and quality of global data on education.
UNESCO and World Bank Collaborate on Culture, Urban ...
Over the next six years, UNESCO and the World Bank will engage in developing global knowledge, common policy guidance, country-level operations and emergency responses to enhance sustainable urban development and address post-disaster and post-conflict situations building on cultural heritage and creativity as resources and assets.
Culture - World Bank
The World Bank and UNESCO share this value and commitment through our joint position paper, Culture in City Reconstruction and Recovery (CURE), which offers a framework and operational guidance for policymakers and practitioners for the planning, financing, and implementation of post-crisis interventions for city reconstruction and recovery."
HISTORY OF UNO [ UNESCO, UNICEF, WORLD BANK, IMF ] – THE ...
history of uno [ unesco, unicef, world bank, imf ] The United Nations is an international organization designed to make the enforcement of international law, security, economic development, social progress, and human rights easier for countries around the world.
Legal status: Active
Formation: 16 November 1945
Type: Specialized agency
International Surveys of ICT Use in Education - World Bank
Most notably, the World Bank participates in an international Working Group on ICT Statistics in Education (WISE), led by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). This effort is part of a larger international, multi-stakeholder initiative to improve the availability and quality of ICT data and indicators, particularly in developing countries, The Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development .
Education for All - World Bank
To realize this aim, a broad coalition of national governments, civil society groups, and development agencies such as UNESCO and the World Bank Group committed to achieving six specific education goals: Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
What happens when a World Heritage City can’t support its own heritage?
| OpinionUpdated: April 19, 2019 - 1:47 PM
The two recent shockwaves in the history community involving the closing of the Philadelphia History Museum and a staff reduction at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania didn’t come as a complete surprise, but their quick succession has led many to question the future of collections-based historical institutions in the city. The Philadelphia History Museum, with more than 130,000 artifacts, and the Historical Society, with its 20 million pages of manuscripts, are the two greatest stewards of the city’s history. What does it say if Philadelphia, the United States’ first UNESCO World Heritage City, cannot support its own heritage?
Up to this point, there has been something of a “Philadelphia model” for how struggling cultural institutions, especially collections-based ones, can deal with financial crises. Both the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia’s merger with Drexel and the Rosenbach’s partnership with the Free Library Foundation saved them from the fate that the Philadelphia History Museum and the Historical Society now face and have served as exemplars of this model. In both cases, a smaller organization formed a long-lasting, strategic partnership with a larger, more financially secure institution. And in each instance, the more stable organization assumed some governance responsibilities and provided a stronger financial footing through direct aid, integrated fund-raising, and administrative support.
The apparent success of these two well-known collaborations has fueled others to seek similar deals. But there are only so many larger institutions in town, and only so many institutions they can take on. This model cannot be sustainable.
It is time to explore different approaches to institutional sustainability. Rather than “looking up” for saviors, institutions of similar sizes and with comparable collections-based missions, even those in a strong financial position, should “look sideways” to each other, and ask how they can work with their peers to lift their collective well-being.
Many institutions are pursuing such work through joint programming. But while these group efforts at public outreach are frequent and successful, fewer have cast their eyes to the ways institutions can partner on back-end administrative systems.
Consider the inherent redundancy in small and middle-sized nonprofits. Why should, say, five separate nonprofits with $20 million endowments have five CFOs when a nonprofit with $100 million can make do with just one? And what if these five hypothetical institutions pooled their relatively small endowments to create a larger one, which would provide them with access to more sophisticated financial instruments?
There are other areas in which joint administration might create efficiencies and build greater opportunities for these institutions and their users. A group of collections-based institutions could adopt and share systems, such as the consortia for a shared ticketing system among many performing arts organizations in Philadelphia. Collection storage and care are also similar responsibilities of these institutions. There may be ways institutions can reach beyond their walls, connect collections, and share the cost of their stewardship of our region’s and nation’s treasures.
JUST TAP INTO THE RAPING AND PILLAGING OF OUR US GRAND CANYON FOR MINERAL WEALTH---UNESCO KNOWS HOW TO DO THIS.
Such a model would not only provide financial support by reducing costs. It would also empower each institution to focus fully on its programmatic mission. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is that such efforts require institutions to cede some level of administrative independence, even if the inspiring mission of each member stayed untouched.
But that may just be the reason it is right for Philadelphia. Collaboration is embedded in our city’s DNA. The Quaker tradition that has guided the city since its founding cherishes community and humility over individualism and ego. Philadelphia’s greatest citizen, Benjamin Franklin, led the city by encouraging civic action rather than competitiveness. And let’s not forget that in 1776 and then again in 1787, it was in this city that leaders facing a collective crisis put aside their individual concerns and came together in a great experiment that changed the world.
Even if such a model would prove infeasible, I offer it here as a way to show that this moment provides an opportunity for Philadelphia to once again be innovative. And the problem is not faced by our city alone. Nonprofits throughout the country are facing many of the same challenges. Once again, Philadelphia has a chance to experiment and build a new model that can be adopted elsewhere. We should see this moment as an opportunity to not only solve our problem but once again lead the nation.
As we look to the origin of UNESCO after WW2 to current status-----UNESCO was created during Western European and Arabic rebuilding from WW2. It has been and is today a Western European operation as to NATO-------with UN membership nations largely former Western European colonial entities with leadership still tied to that colonialism. So, UNESCO is not ALL-AMERICAN----the US has simply funded to large a large extent this WORLD BANK development arm.
Below we see the ROBBER BARON few decades of REAGAN/CLINTON NEO-LIBERALISM basically changing those goals of PEACE, LOVE, AND UNDERSTANDING via UNESCO to HOW CAN WE MAKE GLOBAL BANKING 1% RICHER.
The establishment of UNESCO sites soared during this time in US as sacking and looting was killing our sovereign ability to FUND NATIONAL PARKS------LOCAL CITY LAND SITES------today, we are hearing SORRY no money to maintain the PHILADELPHIA INDEPENDENCE HALL.
'Reagan justified his decision with UNESCO’s “hostility to a free society, especially a free market and a free press”. Thatcherite Britain followed two years later. The Reagan/Thatcher duo, today known for bringing unfettered neoliberalism to the world, sought to remove international obstacles to its economic and political revolution. Their struggle with UNESCO was a struggle with the Non-Aligned Movement of recently decolonized nations'.
Contrary to this article claiming DISDAIN by raging neo-liberals for UNESCO-----they are the one using these designations to seize and control development.
So, did madman TRUMP do all this? Of course not, these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA sacking and looting raping and pillaging were needed to say----sorry, US is now a tribute state too poor to support its own history-----like any third world nation.
'The U.S. government requested this designation, and UNESCO granted it. The U.S. government could, of course, withdraw this designation at any time; and UNESCO would have no choice but to remove it'.
Why Did the U.S. and Israel Leave UNESCO?
Daniel Marwecki, Feb 14 2019,
The United States and Israel left the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) last December. The two countries opposed several anti-Israel resolutions passed by the UN-organization in previous years. However, it would be a mistake to view the American and Israeli decisions primarily as a response to those resolutions. Instead, Washington’s current exit from UNESCO integrates seamlessly into a longer historical trajectory of instrumental engagement with the organization. Israel, the Middle Eastern junior partner of the U.S., has little choice but to follow suit.
Washington and Tel Aviv had declared their intention to leave the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as early as 2017. That the two countries only just left is due to regulations allowing for formal withdrawal only at the end of the year following that in which the decision was made. The UNESCO-secretariat of course deeply regrets Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s decisions. However, UNESCO’s daily workings are unlikely to be impaired. Both the U.S. and Israel declared that they would continue their work in preserving world heritage sites in their countries, while Washington also made it clear that it will continue to play a role in the organization as an observer. More importantly, UNESCO has had to do without American funding since 2011, when the Obama administration froze financial contributions to the organization after UNESCO granted Palestine full membership as a state — the first UN-organization to do so. While this move led to harsh protests also from Tel Aviv, Israel remained part of the organization.
Why the U.S. Left — and Why Israel Followed Suit
The U.S. State Department justified the October 2017 decision to withdraw with “mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing “anti-Israel bias.” As we can see from this statement, the Trump administration had little interests in paying the debts piled up since the Obama administration froze UNESCO contributions in 2011. Secondly, it seems self-evident that the disdain for multilateralism expressed in Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy outlook partly explains why the U.S. left UNESCO. As Trump’s current security adviser John Bolton famously said in 1994: “if the United Nations Secretariat building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” One cannot quite imagine Donald Trump and his ever-changing array of ministers to particularly care about world heritage preservation either.
With regards to accusations of “anti-Israel bias” by UNESCO, it is interesting to note that it was Washington, not Tel Aviv, who had taken the initiative to withdraw. According to a report by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Washington officials did not even inform their Israeli counterparts of the decision in 2017. Of course, it would hardly have been possible for Israel to not follow a decision that was purportedly made in its favor and taken by its key ally. This speaks against the popularly-held opinion of American-Israeli relations as a case of the tail wagging the dog.
A little history helps to understand the American decision in more depth. As a Time article in 2017 explained, the current episode appears much like a déjà-vu. In 1974, U.S. president Gerald Ford froze payments to UNESCO after it recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Washington left UNESCO in 1983 under President Ronald Reagan. The decision was part of Reagan’s policy to quell real and presumed Soviet influence everywhere, a policy that included the backing of brutal dictatorships and a re-heating of the Cold War conflict. One can see why the often-drawn comparison between Reagan and Trump makes sense: Reagan’s fervent ideological battle against ‘communism’ mirrors the Trump-administration’s hatred of Islam.
Reagan justified his decision with UNESCO’s “hostility to a free society, especially a free market and a free press”. Thatcherite Britain followed two years later. The Reagan/Thatcher duo, today known for bringing unfettered neoliberalism to the world, sought to remove international obstacles to its economic and political revolution. Their struggle with UNESCO was a struggle with the Non-Aligned Movement of recently decolonized nations.
Indeed, as explained in the Time article cited above, when UNESCO was founded after World War II, it was basically a club of Western states, its cultural and educational work necessary for establishing a post-fascist, liberal order in Nazi-destroyed Europe. Trouble came to UNESCO, at least from an American perspective, when membership of ‘Third World’ countries surged in the course of the great waves of decolonization. The U.S. found that it was losing money to an organization over which it had limited influence and for which it had little purpose.
Ironically, it was not under the presumably more multilaterally-minded Democrat Bill Clinton, but under the Republican George W. Bush that the U.S. rejoined UNESCO almost 20 years after leaving it. This decision should not be misperceived as a renewed sense of cooperation. Most likely, the Bush administration sought to display a sense of commitment to multilateralism at the same time as it was preparing its invasion of Iraq, which stood in contravention to international law. In another irony, one should again remember the fact that it was the Obama-administration which paved the way for the current decision of the Trump government, by having frozen U.S. contributions to UNESCO already in 2011.
For the U.S., the present withdrawal from UNESCO is thus not too big a deal and smoothly integrates into prior history. The situation may be somewhat different for Israel. Israel had become a UNESCO member a year after it was founded in the 1948 war. While passing resolutions opposed to Israeli interests is nothing new to what UNESCO does, this is the first time Israel has left the organization. It is a move that puts the U.S. and Israel against the virtually global membership of UNESCO. Under the far-right government of Benyamin Netanyahu, Israel, for better or worse, is trailing along the not-so-easily predictable foreign policy course set by the administration of Donald Trump.
In conclusion, the current episode in the diplomatic drama of how the Israel-Palestine conflict unfolds on the stage of UNESCO needs to be seen historically and in terms of the changing American strategic and tactical outlook towards the UN. This allows for a much clearer picture than can be gained by only looking at the official Israeli or Palestinian rhetoric.
We showed how CANADA US border tied to tar sand energy toxicity has been going strong while UNESCO was on watch----so, too our US national parks having started to be mined, fracked, and brought down to RUBBLE. What did UNESCO designation do for US national land sites already supported by US FEDERAL MONEY. Well, it brought in GLOBAL NGOS to access the 5Ws of who and how to access and obtain that WEALTH.
This is why UNESCO was brought into US during JIMMY CARTER/REAGAN era-----the beginning of ROBBER BARON taking US to colonial status.
'Threats to the Canadian Boreal Forest
| Boreal Songbird ...www.borealbirds.org/threats-canadian-boreal-forest More than 30% of the Canadian Boreal Forest has been reserved for some form of current or future industrial development overall. New resource roads are pushing further and further north into the heart of the boreal each year, demonstrating the need to conserve large portions of the forest to create a balance in the boreal forest'.
All these sites are heavily engaged in global banking 1% boreal forest BURNING to access mining and fracking interests.
With The Highest Number Of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Alberta has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada.
Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO Heritage Site in Alberta, Canada.
Canada is a beautiful country with great geographical and cultural diversity. The thriving tourist industry of Canada is based on its numerous historical, cultural and natural attractions. Canada also has 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites are landmarks or areas that have been selected by the UNESCO as having immense historical, cultural, conservation, scientific or other value. They are considered to be important to the interests of humanity. The presence of these sites of international significance often acts as a tourist magnet. The Canadian provinces and territories with the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites are Alberta with 4, Newfoundland and Labrador with 4, British Columbia with 3, and Nova Scotia also with 3 sites.
The western Canadian province of Alberta has five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Two of these sites are shared with two other Canadian provinces while one is shared with a US state. The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site is shared between Alberta and British Columbia. Four national parks and three provincial parks of British Columbia are part of this site. Mountains, glaciers, headwaters of major Canadian rivers, and hot springs characterize the landscape of the region. The Wood Buffalo National Park is shared between Alberta and Northwest Territories. It is the country’s biggest national park and protects the world’s largest herd of free-roaming wood bison. The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park straddles the border between Alberta and US state of Montana. It was formed by the union of two national parks, Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park and America’s Glacier National Park. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and the Dinosaur Provincial Park are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are exclusively within the territory of Alberta.
5. Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada’s most easterly province, is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include the Red Bay (underwater archeological site), L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site (an archeological site), Mistaken Point, and the Gros Morne National Park. The former two places are cultural sites while the latter two are natural ones. The Gros Morne National Park is a geological treasure that illustrates plate tectonics. The numerous glacial features of the park contribute to its natural beauty. The Mistaken Point, on the other hand, is a paleontological treasure trove housing some of the most ancient fossils of multi-cellular life on Earth.
4. British Columbia
British Columbia has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of these sites, the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, is shared with Alberta as mentioned earlier. The Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek is another such site that straddles the borders between Alaska in the US and Yukon and British Columbia in Canada. The area hosts an impressive complex of tall peaks and massive glaciers. Considerable populations of grizzly bears, Dall’s sheep, and caribou are found there. The SG̱ang Gwaay is a heritage site of the Haida people.
3. Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia, a Maritime Atlantic province of Canada, has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Joggins Fossil Cliffs is famous for its fossils from an ancient rainforest ecosystem. The Old Town Lunenburg and the Landscape of Grand Pré are two cultural World Heritage Sites in the province.
2. Other Can
Quebec, Ontario, and the Northwest Territories each have two such sites. The Historic District of Old Quebec and the Miguasha National Park are two of Quebec’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Pimachiowin Aki and the Rideau Canal are the two World Heritage Sites in Ontario. The former is shared between Ontario and Manitoba. The Wood Buffalo National Park and the Nahanni National Park are two such sites located in the Northwest Territories. The former is shared with Alberta. Manitoba and Yukon have one such site each, as mentioned previously.
1. Canadian Provinces/Territories that Lack UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Out of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and Nunavut do not have any such site. However, Nunavut and Saskatchewan have sites listed in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Canada.
Grand Canyon is a US FEDERAL PARK taxpayers maintain it----it has been public and kept from development for almost a century
'1938 poster of the park
"Grand Canyon" was officially designated a national park on February 26, 1919, though the landmark had been well known to Americans for over thirty years prior'.
'The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular national parks in the United States, but did you know that it is also designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site? Established as a world heritage site in 1979, the Grand Canyon is also considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world'.
'Who was the President of the United States in 1979
James Earl (Jimmy) Carter Jr. was the President of the United States in 1979'.
Jimmy Carter received a KNIGHTHOOD from OLD WORLD KINGS for this UNESCO designation. Mining and fracking inside Grand Canyon now coal mining has been happening these few decades so why are US national news FAKE media making TRUMP the fall guy?
We want to understand public policy and to do so we must have access to REAL INFORMATION. REAL LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVES have been fighting against all these GLOBAL NGO installations.
If there are GOLD AND URANIUM in them thar US FEDERAL mountains then why can the US not afford to maintain the PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM HALL or the STATUE OF LIBERTY?
The US 99% WE THE PEOPLE can hate the destruction of our pristine natural lands ---but to lose that AND have all wealth go to FOREIGN global 1%------that is not PUBLIC POLICY -----that is sacking and looting.
Why Do We Need to Mine Uranium in the Grand Canyon?
On 1/15/18 at 9:58 AM EST
Havasupai elders taught us that a young woman created all the Grand Canyon's springs, springs that flow into Havasu Creek to fill our blue-green waterfalls, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
Now, as uranium mining threatens to poison our waters, harm our economy, and risk our way of life, it is the Havasupai, people of the blue-green water, who must come to the Grand Canyon's defense.
Long before there were hydrologists, we were taught how rain and melting snow flow underground from the high plateaus and peaks around the Grand Canyon into the veins of our Mother, to Red Butte, where our people emerged, and out through springs to our village, at the bottom of the canyon.
We once gardened along Bright Angel Trail in what is now Grand Canyon National Park. Today, hikers from around the world enjoy the shade and refreshing waters of Indian Gardens.
The entire Grand Canyon is sacred to the Havasupai. It is where the blood of our ancestors is buried and their spirits still reside. Those who drink from its waters share in our history and experience the essence of my people.
As children, we learned that Havasupai are the protectors of the Grand Canyon. As a tribal leader, I am committed to protecting my family and my people from the well-known risks of uranium mining. As an elected Havasupai councilwoman, I oppose uranium mining, especially on lands where life-giving waters flow into the Grand Canyon.
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, on February 13, 2017. RHONA WISE/AFP/GettyThe Grand Canyon's headwaters supply our tribe's sole source of drinking water and support our tourist-based economy. The whole canyon is our home, and its waters are our lifeblood. Permitting more uranium mines on public lands around the Grand Canyon could force my people from our homeland and into extinction.
In 2012, we celebrated the Obama administration's decision to honor our request and stop thousands of new uranium mining claims. The interior secretary at the time ordered a 20-year ban that closed a million acres of public land around the Grand Canyon to new mining. With this temporary reprieve, we breathed a sigh of relief.
Now, misguided politicians in Arizona's Mohave County are asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to overturn the ban and reopen the Grand Canyon to mining. They claim they need uranium mining to help grow their economy, and they're supported by the National Mining Association.
They argue we're too dependent on foreign minerals. They say that mineral withdrawals, like the temporary ban on Grand Canyon uranium claims, are putting our national security at risk.
They say it is hurting our nation's economy. But what about the Havasupai, who live, work, farm, and raise our children at the bottom of the Grand Canyon?
Uranium is one of the most abundant minerals on earth and uranium prices are so low that even the world's largest uranium producer, Kazakhstan's state-owned Kazatomprom, is cutting production by 20 percent because the market is saturated. Nevertheless, U.S. lawmakers hurry to purge barriers to mining.
The Canyon uranium mine, near the south rim of the Grand Canyon, forges ahead after the 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals recently rejected the Havasupai's lawsuit challenging a decision to allow the mine to reopen despite the lack of common-sense precautions, such as wells to monitor when contamination reaches the underground source of Havasupai water.
The push to reverse the Obama-era ban on new mining claims because it somehow threatens our national interest is pure political showboating. For more than three decades, state and federal regulators have permitted Canyon Mine to operate.
And yet, the mine's owners have yet to remove a single bucket of uranium ore. If this were really an issue of national security, surely Canyon Mine would have started hauling ore long ago.
Last month, I testified before a congressional committee chaired by Arizona Representative Paul Gosar who accused me of using "scare tactics" when I voiced my concerns about the risks of uranium mining to my people. "You're not entitled to your own facts," Rep. Gosar admonished me. "You have to have facts that are peer-reviewed and science-reviewed."
The facts are these: the 20-year ban on new uranium claims was enacted to allow scientists time to study the effects of mining near the Grand Canyon. We, the Havasupai, have lived at the bottom of the Grand Canyon for centuries. We drink from its springs. Its waters nurture our crops and our animals.
We must allow scientists time to study the Grand Canyon's groundwater flow, and gather the facts. This is the Grand Canyon we're talking about. The risk—for the Havasupai people, and for the canyon itself—is too great.
We urge lawmakers to protect our children's right to clean water by keeping the ban on new uranium claims. Get your facts straight before foreclosing on my people's future.
Without coincidence, UNESCO designation of our INDEPENDENCE HALL and LIBERTY BELL occurred just as US CITIES AS FAILED STATES economic policies were to be unleashed by REAGAN/CLINTON global banking 1% neo-liberalism. PHILADELPHIA as BALTIMORE were not protected by UNESCO that is for sure.
UNESCO gets the LIBERTY BELL and PHILADELPHIA becomes a FAILED CITY.
'City leaders made the same argument when they advocated for Unesco World Heritage designation for the site in 1979 and the city in 2015'.
The tearing down of US historical landmarks is not the end of the world. What we are seeing across the nation is a UNESCO capture of what represents being ALL-AMERICAN filled with freedom, liberty, justice at the very time ROBBER BARON few decades was slated to take the US to colonial status.
'Like the first writers who argued for the preservation of Independence Hall two hundred years ago, the Onion writers pushed back against the notion that old buildings and open space mark sites ripe for new development. The history of Independence Hall’s preservation shows how old this argument really is'.
A sovereign nations' historical landmarks may not look like much------but the preservation of HISTORY is what keeps the struggles in creating that sovereign nation ALIVE.
DON'T WORRY says UNESCO----we have your STATUE OF LIBERTY under protective custody-----
Two Centuries Ago, Pennsylvania Almost Razed Independence Hall to Make Way for Private Development
Fortunately saner minds prevailed when the state thought about tearing down Philadelphia’s historic structure
Detail of north elevation of Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall), from 1752 map of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Library of Congress via WikiCommons)
By Whitney Martinko, Hindsights
December 11, 2017
Goodbye Independence Hall, hello Amazon headquarters! That was the “news” recently spoofed by the popular parody website, The Onion. The article lampooned Philadelphia’s eagerness to house Amazon’s second command center and included an image of the city leveled to make way for new business. “It was definitely bittersweet saying goodbye to the Liberty Bell,” says the satirical version of Mayor Jim Kenney, “but it’s important we encourage businesses to invest in the city.”
The article’s humor arises, in part, from treating one of the nation’s most cherished historic monuments as prime real estate. Yet 200 years ago, Philadelphians faced this very situation when the commonwealth of Pennsylvania planned to subdivide the site for private development. The resulting campaign to preserve Independence Hall featured the same critiques of urban development, capitalist greed, and corrupt public interest that appeared in The Onion two centuries later. Since then, observers have viewed Independence Hall as a bellwether of the values guiding urban development. Their commentary reminds us that citizens long have shaped historic sites not simply to commemorate the past but also to define what should not be for sale during times of economic transition.
Independence Hall’s preservation began in 1812 when Pennsylvania legislators planned to sell the building — then known as the old statehouse — and carve the surrounding green space into building lots. Colonial legislators had met in the building for four decades before American patriots made the spot notorious by signing the Declaration of Independence and debating the U. S. Constitution under its roof. After the state government removed its seat to Harrisburg in 1799, however, legislators saw the building and its surrounding land as potential revenue. Architectural salvage from the demolished building and multiple lots sold “to the highest and best bidders” would raise money to build a grand statehouse in the new capital.
Philadelphia’s municipal leaders valued the site in a different way. The age of the building and the grounds surrounding it, they argued, did not make the site ripe for development. The civic value of the place outweighed any financial profit that development would bring. In other words, permanence of this prime real estate would serve the public good.
William Burch Russell depicted the state house yard in 1800, just over a decade before the commonwealth of Pennsylvania proposed subdividing it for sale. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.)The city government offered to buy the site from the commonwealth for $70,000. State legislators refused, insisting that they would not settle for less than $150,000. Thus began a five-year campaign to preserve the old statehouse and its grounds as city property. City councillors first challenged the legality of development. Since 1735, colonial legislation had mandated that none of the open space around the statehouse “be converted into or made use of for erecting any sort of building thereupon, but that the said ground shall be inclosed, and remain a publick open green and walk for ever.”
Yet editorials and city council reports made arguments for the public good of open space and historic structures. They described the statehouse yard as a crucial source of air, light, and recreation for a growing urban populace. It also provided space for electioneering, they argued, which ensured the political health of the city and the nation. The historic features of the old statehouse contributed to civic health as well. They substantiated direct associations with the nation’s founding and formed an irreplaceable monument to a watershed moment in world history.
Philadelphia’s leaders argued that when commonwealth officials demanded the maximum market price, they betrayed the public interest they claimed to represent. The land’s market value had increased substantially in the speculative real estate economy of the early nineteenth century, and a handful of political elites stood to profit at the expense of Philadelphia’s residents. Market growth, city officials argued, did not always engender urban improvement.
Philadelphia’s City Council won out. In 1818, they took possession of the old statehouse and its yard. Their campaign for stewarding the site as permanent public space had helped to generate the political capital necessary to negotiate a sale on their terms. It also made Independence Hall a symbol for municipal leaders’ care for the city’s welfare.
Subsequent generations revived the threat of Independence Hall’s demolition as a means to criticize municipal leadership. In 1845, George Lippard wrote a popular novel, The Quaker City, that depicted Philadelphia’s municipal leaders as wealthy men who exploited women, impoverished workers, and public trust for their own gain. In Lippard’s dystopian narrative, these men replaced Independence Hall with a gilt palace and surrounded it with new buildings. As Philadelphia leaders remade the city to stimulate industry and commerce, Lippard used the demolition of Independence Hall to question who benefitted from these changes.
George Lippard imagined the demolition of Independence Hall in his 1845 novel, The Quaker City. (Image courtesy The Library Company of Philadelphia)Municipal leaders, in turn, pointed to the preservation of Independence Hall as a sign of their public-mindedness. In the mid-20th century, urban planner Edmund Bacon introduced a plan to revitalize deindustrializing Philadelphia with attention to 18th-century architecture. He placed Independence Hall at the center of his plan to cultivate a tourist economy and leveled several blocks of 19th-century commercial buildings to open a dramatic vista of the building from Independence Mall. In this vision of preservation and redevelopment, Philadelphia could profit as a steward of national heritage. City leaders made the same argument when they advocated for Unesco World Heritage designation for the site in 1979 and the city in 2015.
This view of the north side of Independence Hall, in the distance, shows demolition of buildings along the south side of Race Street to create Independence Mall. (© Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, October 27, 1959. Source: George D. McDowell Philadelphia Evening Bulletin Collection, Temple University Libraries, Special Collections Research Center)When Onion writers depicted the mayor’s destruction of Independence Hall in 2017, they continued this conversation for a new generation facing economic and urban change. In recent weeks, Philadelphia’s municipal leaders have pulled out all the stops to pitch their city as the perfect locale for Amazon’s second headquarters. The “Philadelphia Delivers” campaign has spread glowing images of the city across a slick website and promotional video. It even bought advertising in the Seattle transit system. In this campaign, Philadelphia boosters highlight the city’s open space as a key feature of its appeal. Sites opened by the decline of industry — railyards by the Schuylkill River and South Philadelphia’s Navy Yard — await more productive uses in the new economy, they say.
Like the first writers who argued for the preservation of Independence Hall two hundred years ago, the Onion writers pushed back against the notion that old buildings and open space mark sites ripe for new development. The history of Independence Hall’s preservation shows how old this argument really is.
As Philadelphia faces a preservation crisis that could be intensified by the arrival of Amazon, Independence Hall recalls the city’s early commitment to the public protection of open space, historic buildings, and the sense of place defined by current city residents. Members of Mayor Kenney’s Historic Preservation Task Force, as well as all Philadelphians, would be wise to consider this legacy as they articulate a plan for managing the relationship between private development and civic health. Just as activists have used Independence Hall as a symbol for the expansion of civil rights, today’s city leaders might harness the ideals of public space embodied by this site to increase the number of sites that get preserved and the types of citizens involved in selecting them. In this way, Independence Hall can serve as an icon not only of the ideals of human equality but also of the city’s mandate to steward historic resources for all residents.