... dedicated to to increase awareness and understanding of the Constitution, the Constitution's history and its relevance in people's daily lives.
The NCC opened to the public July 4, 2003 and is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization was created by the Constitution Heritage Act in 1988.
The Center is located at 525 Arch St. on Philadelphia's Independence Mall, America's most historic mile, in Independence National Historical Park.
The NCC is a 160,000 square-foot center with 67,785 square feet of exhibit space and visitors learn about the Constitution from more than 100 multimedia and interactive exhibits, sculptures, photographs, film, artifacts. There's also a 350-seat theater that offers something for everyone - from the serious scholar to the casual historian, from the young to the young at heart.
The visitor's experience begins in the Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibit Hall with The Story of We the People,
the permanent exhibit at the Constitution Center.
The first part of the story unfolds in the Kimmel Theater where "Freedom Rising," a 17-minute show combining a live actor and multimedia elements on a 360° screen, tells the story of the Constitution from Revolutionary times through today.
From there, visitors move to The American Experience where the story of the Constitution is told through interactive and multimedia components arranged in three concentric circles.
As visitors continue through the exhibit, they are completely encircled by the text of today's Constitution printed on a glass wall eight feet above their heads and measuring 16-feet tall and 450-feet long.
As they make their journey through constitutional history, visitors discover that the Constitution
affects nearly every facet of their lives.
Through interactive components, visitors actively learn how the Constitution affects how the government functions. Only at the National Constitution Center are people able to watch themselves take the Presidential Oath of Office on the steps of the Capitol, see and hear the stories of 100 Americans on the Center's video American National Tree, put on a robe and sit on a replica of the Supreme Court bench, and vote for their favorite U.S. President of all time.
The visitor experience comes to a climax in Signers' Hall, where visitors walk among 42 life-size bronze figures
of the 39 men who signed the Constitution as well as the three who dissented.
It is here that one of the most poignant moments of a visitor's experience takes place - each visitor is given the opportunity to actively affirm the principles of citizenship by signing their name to today's Constitution in a custom-made signing book. Visitors can also sign their name as a dissenter and explain why they disagree with the Constitution's principles.
The signing books will be kept in Signers' Hall permanently so visitors will be able to return for years to come and find where they signed their name.
As visitors leave Signers' Hall, they are greeted with a direct view of Independence Hall through a wall
of glass 40-feet high.
They also receive an active call to citizenship as they enter the Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn and J. Bruce Llewellyn Citizens' Cafe where they can e-mail their congressmen, participate in discussions about their experience or watch up-to-the minute Constitutional issues unfold on a giant video wall.
The Center's outreach initiative connects with millions more from around the nation and the world who are unable
to visit the museum.
The Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach offers debates and discussions, a study center, educational materials
and a Visiting Scholars program.
The Constitution Center also offers a wide variety of programs tailored specifically for adults, families and schools.
The Center's Web site (see Web Link further below), serves as a valuable resource for teachers, students and people who are interested in constitutional history and issues.
The National Constitution Center was designed by the architectural firm of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, led
by founding partner Henry N. Cobb, and Ralph Appelbaum and Associates, led by renowned exhibit designer Ralph Appelbaum.
Appelbaum created the visitor experiences and exhibition halls for exceptional museums such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Rose Planetarium and the Newseum.
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners is known for its striking designs of public buildings, including the expansion of the Louvre and the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art.
The visitor experience is greatly enriched due to several amenities the Center offers.
Parking is available for visitors on site and there is a surface lot adjacent to the museum for school and tour buses that load and unload passengers.
The Center features a school lunch room that accommodates 300 children in addition to The Delegates' Restaurant, a 225-seat restaurant that serves a variety of dishes including grilled items, salads and sandwiches.
Lighter fare, such as pastries and coffee, is available in the Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn and J. Bruce Llewellyn Citizens' Cafe.
The Center is fully wheelchair accessible and compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
Admission is approx. $12 for adults and reduced rates exist for seniors and children.
Children age four and under are free.
The NCC is open 7 days a week from usually 9:30 a.m. until 5 or 6 p.m. On Sundays it opens around noon. Please verify before you visit and find the details on the NCC's website.
Parking rates for Constitution Center visitors start at approx. $6 for up to 1 hour.
Learn more about rates and admission on the Center's website, see below the WebLink.
525 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106