The National Park Service has made an announcement regarding the proposed removal of the Statue of William Penn from Welcome Park:

Independence National Historical Park has withdrawn the review of a draft proposal to rehabilitate Welcome Park and closed the public comment period.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. No changes to the William Penn statue are planned.

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.

The park is located on the site of William Penn’s home, the Slate Roof House, and is named for the ship, Welcome, which transported Penn to Philadelphia. The design and construction of Welcome Park was funded by the Independence Historical Trust and was completed in 1982.

The backlash was so sudden and severe that they were forced to withdraw the proposed change.


The next president, assuming it’s not Biden, should fire everyone at the NPS who worked on this.

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By J. Kb

9 thoughts on “William Penn update”
  1. amazing how it’s always a ‘preliminary draft’ that was ‘released prematurely’. It’s like they read off a script.

    Now we see if they just wait until the furor dies down and remove it anyway.

    1. Or don’t remove it, but relocate it into a closet or a part of the site normally closed to the public, etc.

  2. I have trouble believing that the reaction to this was much more serious than that to the planned removal of arlington cemetery’s confederate memorial, or the Lee statue in Charlottesville.

    1. I suspect that arguing an abolitionist who negotiated a peaceful and successful land transfer/lease with Native Americans had to be cancelled “because reasons, honor Native Americans, reasons” was too hard even for the NPS to make successfully. Penn doesn’t have “the unforgivable sin of slavery,” and so the NPS couldn’t use that as a justification.

  3. The next president should fire the entire NPS because that is not an enumerated power. All federal lands other than military installations should be turned over to the states.

  4. Not surprised about the level of outcry. The ONLY thing that us Pennsylvanians can agree on is that WE F*ING LOVE BILLY PENN!!!!!

  5. I lost faith in the NPS 13-14 years ago when I was fueling up at a gas station outside a national park and a park ranger truck rolled up. Out hops a guy in full kit (tactical clothing, plate carrier, etc), looking like a SWAT team member in NPS colors. A damned park ranger, I couldn’t believe it. It just made me sad.

    1. It’s interesting, and very disturbing, to find out just how many agencies have armed personnel. Then again, it is similarly disturbing to find out just how many agencies exist, and how tiny is the fraction of that number actually authorized by the plain English words of the United States Constitution.

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