- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 6, 2007

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The presidential mansion where George Washington and his slaves once lived was leveled long ago, but a new monument will keep their history alive for generations.

The National Park Service and city officials announced the selection of a design by a black-owned firm to mark the site of the mansion near Independence Hall.

A brick facade resembling the home’s first floor will trace the building’s outline and encompass video and audio exhibits telling what daily life was like for the president and his slaves.

The selection was made five years after groups started protesting plans to commemorate the Robert Morris House and build a new pavilion for the Liberty Bell, saying officials were ignoring the history of slaves.

Washington and John Adams each lived at the mansion, a block from Independence Mall, when Philadelphia was the nation’s capital between 1790 and 1800. At least nine of Washington’s slaves also were quartered there.

In 2002, Congress directed the National Park Service to “appropriately commemorate” the slaves. Mayor John F. Street has committed $1.5 million in city funds. The project also has the support of a $3.6 million federal grant.

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