- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2002

PHILADELPHIA (AP) They call the neighborhood around Independence Mall the most historic square mile in America, but lately it looks more like the most secure construction site.
Ringed by chain-link fences and concrete barriers, the mall has become an unrecognizable tangle of bulldozers, naked beams and muddy pits as it undergoes its biggest overhaul since the nation's bicentennial.
The projects include a visitors center near Independence Hall, a museum about the Constitution and a new gallery for the National Museum of American Jewish History.
Once complete, Independence Mall will have been transformed from an open, and largely empty grassy park, to an assemblage of museums and historic sites that officials said they hope will rival the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
"It's great for tourism. It is going to bring more people into the area," said Jeff Glassberg, who lives near the park and is chairman of the Old City Civic Association's historic district committee.
The mall is part of Independence National Historical Park often billed as "the birthplace of our nation." The park includes the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, the site where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were created.


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