In a shocking turn of events, the National Park Service has reversed course on a plan to remove a William Penn statue from a Philadelphia park after backlash.
In a press release, it was announced that the “Independence National Historical Park has withdrawn the review of a draft proposal to rehabilitate Welcome Park and closed the public comment period.”
“The preliminary draft proposal, which was released prematurely and had not been subject to a complete internal agency review, is being retracted,” the press release stated.
“No changes to the William Penn statue are planned.”
The press release added:
“The National Park Service (NPS) remains committed to rehabilitating Welcome Park as the nation prepares to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.
“Upon completion of all the necessary internal reviews, the park looks forward to engaging in a robust public process to consider options for refurbishing the park in the coming years.”
A previous press release had announced, “The National Park Service proposes to rehabilitate Welcome Park to provide a more welcoming, accurate, and inclusive experience for visitors.”
That press release described how the proposed rehabilitation of Welcome Park would include an “expanded interpretation of the Native American history of Philadelphia and was developed in consultation with representatives of the indigenous nations of the Haudenosaunee, the Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe of Indians, the Shawnee Tribe, and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.”
“The Penn statue and Slate Roof house model will be removed and not reinstalled,” the press release asserted.
The Park Service planned to seek comments through its website starting on Jan. 8 and that social media comments, etc. would not be part of the decision.
U.S. House Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH) wondered in a recent post to X if the Biden Admin was “going to try and re-name the state too?”
The Biden administration wants to tear down a statue of William Penn outside of Philadelphia’s Old City Hall to make the area more “inclusive.”
Are they going to try and re-name the state too? https://t.co/RTXb8XSulc
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) January 9, 2024