Revolution Museum zooms past $150 million fund-raising goal

The Museum of the American Revolution has announced a joint $2.5 million gift from Comcast/NBCUniversal and the Roberts Foundation, pushing the museum past its $150 million fund-raising goal.

The museum, which opens April 19, has now raised $152 million for its new building, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and endowment. Major donors include former Inquirer publisher H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, the Oneida Nation, and the State of Pennsylvania. 

The Comcast-Roberts gift is made in honor of Stern, who also designed the Comcast Center, Penn’s McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and Drexel’s LeBow College of Business. Stern also worked up the master plan for Philadelphia’s Navy Yard.

Brian L. Roberts, chair and chief executive of Comcast, called Stern an “innovative and visionary” architect.

In the case of the museum, Stern's architecture will enclose and display art and artifacts from what used to be the collection of the Valley Forge Historical Society, as well as a number of new acquisitions and long-term loans. 

Here will be Gen. George Washington's field tent, weaponry of all sorts, clothing, books, paintings, immersive video displays and digital interactives, and life-size dioramas featuring Washington, Oneida Indians, African Americans, and women. (A special section about the museum will appear in the April 16 Inquirer.)

John Jumper, museum board chair, said the contributions to the museum speak to the “overwhelming importance of a great national museum to tell the story of our founding.”

“Philadelphia was the headquarters of the American Revolution, but it is a story that belongs to all of us,” Jumper said.  

“World-class architecture can help transform a city and it was an honor to have [Stern] design our headquarters building,” Roberts said in a statement. “We could not be more pleased to recognize his impact on Philadelphia over so many years.”

Michael Quinn, museum president and chief executive, called the gift in Stern’s honor a “fitting way to cross the finish line of our campaign.” Quinn characterized the museum building, at Third and Chestnut Streets, as “a new, modern landmark” in Old City.