Independence Seaport Museum
|Independence Seaport Museum|
Exterior of the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|Director||John Brady (CEO)|
|Public transit access||SEPTA Market–Frankford Line, SEPTA Bus Routes 17, 21, 33, 42, 48|
The Independence Seaport Museum (formerly the Philadelphia Maritime Museum) is a museum dedicated to the maritime history of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley. It is located in the Penn's Landing complex along the Delaware River in Philadelphia. The museum was founded in 1961 by J. Welles Henderson and has dozens of exhibits including the warship USS Olympia and the submarine USS Becuna.
The museum was founded in 1961 as the Philadelphia Maritime Museum by J. Welles Henderson. The museum consisted of Henderson's own personal collection and was housed in a rented room in the Athenaeum on Washington Square. Henderson founded the museum because he felt that Philadelphia's maritime history had been forgotten, and was frustrated that there wasn't a maritime museum in the city like many cities in New England had.
In 1995, the museum moved to Penn's Landing along the Delaware River, after spending $15 million to renovate a building used by the Port of History Museum, which had closed two years earlier. It was renamed the Independence Seaport Museum.
In June 2007, former Independence Seaport Museum president John S. Carter pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and tax evasion from misappropriating about US$2.5 million in funds from the museum. He received a 15-year sentence in federal prison. Carter, who was president of the museum from 1989 to March 2006, was accused of using money from the museum to buy numerous personal items, including two boats, an espresso machine and a carriage house for his home in Cape Cod between 1997 and 2006.
There are many maritime artifacts, ship models, and full-sized boats in the permanent and interactive exhibitions. The exhibits focus on the Port of Philadelphia, trade, immigration, shipbuilding, and deep sea submersibles. There are two historic ships displayed near the museum. They are the USS Olympia, one of the United States' first steel warships, and the World War II submarine USS Becuna.
- Hanna, Maddie (12 December 2012). "Seaport museum sets new course". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- Downey, Sally A. (13 May 2007). "His love of the sea launched a museum". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- Philadelphia Architects and Builders: National Liberty Museum
- "Maritime Museum Sets Sail Today", Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 1995
- McCoy, Craig R. (2 March 2007). "Seaport museum taps veteran skipper". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- "Former museum leader gets 15 years for fraud, tax evasion". Philadelphia Business Journal. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
- Shiffman, John (22 May 2007). "Ex-seaport museum chief charged" (– Scholar search). The Philadelphia Inquirer.[dead link]
- "Permanent Exhibits". Independence Seaport Museum. Retrieved 2007-05-22.
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