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National Constitution Center
Interiors, New Construction
295,000 sq. ft., 5-Stories
Pei Cobb Freed
The National Constitution Center (NCC) is a unique five-level, 298,000 sq. ft. facility that includes parking, a National Park Service facilities, a maintenance area, and NCC offices and support areas. The NCC is located on the northern end of Independence Mall, which is part of the larger Independence National Historical Park in Center City Philadelphia.
The three stories above grade are enclosed in a contemporary limestone and glass façade, which adds a unique and dynamic feature to the landscape of Independence Mall. The NCC's museum/exhibit space, which includes a 3,600-seat theater, has 150,000 sq. ft. dedicated to telling the story of the federal government’s founding document hammered out by Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and 51 other delegates in the summer of 1787.
A significant part of the story of the building's construction is the coordinated excavation effort led by Turner with a team of archeologists. Whenever items of significance were located, archeologists would perform a survey, a careful excavation, and eventually an analysis of the data and artifacts collected in order to learn more about past-use and occupancy of the site. A work area was constructed with portable enclosures where sieves, wash stations, and sorting tables were set up to rinse, sort, and identify recovered items. If bodies were encountered, the office of the coroner, orphans court, National Park Service, and archeologists coordinated to exhume the body and have it transported from the site.