The public will be able to look back through time to when the nation's first president owned and kept slaves in Philadelphia, under plans unveiled yesterday for the President's House Memorial.
The remnants of slave cook Hercules' kitchen, the underground passageway from there to the main house, and the quarters where George and Martha Washington lived, with at least nine slaves, from 1790 to 1797, will be visible to the public through a glass enclosure in the preferred plan among four, aired last night at the Freedom Theatre, at Broad and Jefferson streets, North Philadelphia.
The plans by an architect working with the city and National Park Service grew out of demands for a memorial that recognized the existance of slavery in the country's early years.
Construction of the nearby Liberty Bell Pavilion in 2002 had unearthed the slave quarters at the President's House site at 6th and Market streets.
Almost 300,000 visitors flocked to the archaeological dig last spring and summer.
The design team of Kelly/ Maiello Architects & Planners drew up the preferred plan, and the other options.
The $7 million President's House memorial is scheduled for completion by 2009. *
- Gloria Campisi