Museum of the American Revolution opens in Philadelphia: Live updates

Vicki Embrey, of the Maryland Sons of the American Revolution, checks her phone in Washington Square Park before the start of the opening ceremony of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia on April 19, 2017.

Philadelphia's Museum of the American Revolution opens Wednesday, the culmination of a lengthy process to bring the story of the Revolutionary War to a public museum. Follow along for updates throughout the day as the museum opens its doors at Third and Chestnut Streets. The opening coincides with the 242nd anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first military engagements of the Revolutionary War.

>> Click here for a gallery of images from the opening day festivities

12:11 p.m.: The Museum of the American Revolution is now open.

11:49 a.m.: Former Vice President Joe Biden is speaking at the ceremony.

11:44 a.m.: What the crowd looks like outside the museum just ahead of the official opening:

11:35 a.m.: Cokie Roberts and Sydney James Harcourt have addressed the crowd at the museum opening.

10:59 a.m.: Speakers so far have included Mayor Kenney, Gov. Wolf, and historian David McCullough. Still to come are performances, including Hamilton cast member Sydney James Harcourt (here is a video of him rehearsing with Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts).

10:41 a.m.: The crowd at the ribbon-cutting opening ceremony:

10:25 a.m.: The ribbon-cutting will start soon. Among those who have arrived: H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, the museum's founding board chairman, who was instrumental in making the project happen.

10:05 a.m.: A small parade is heading from Independence Hall to Third and Chestnut Streets to officially open the museum. Some traffic delays in the area were reported due to the procession.

10 a.m.: Heading to the museum and want to know more about what to expect? Check out architecture critic Inga Saffron's review: "Museum of the American Revolution's building at odds with revolutionary content."

9:30 a.m.: There's an hour to go until the ribbon-cutting. If you can't wait for a view inside, here's a 3D virtual tour of the museum.

8:58: a.m.: A few tickets appear to remain available for opening day. According to the museum's ticket website, visitors can still book tickets for 4:40 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 5:40 p.m. or 6 p.m. Wednesday, when the site will be open until 8 p.m. All visitors need tickets, which can be purchased online (the museum's recommended method, to ensure choice of time) or at the box office. Normal hours at the museum are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; summer and opening weekend (April 20 to 23) hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

8:50 a.m.: A wreath is being laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider:

8:06 a.m.: Festivities have gotten started in Washington Square.

7:35 a.m.: Here's the schedule for the day:

  • 8 a.m.: Opening festivities begin with a wreath-laying and interfaith prayer at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in Washington Square.
  • 9 a.m.: Remarks and color guard and drum corp performances take place at Independence Hall.
  • 10:30 a.m.: Ticketed ribbon-cutting ceremony at the museum, which is open until 8 p.m. today. A limited number of tickets were available as of Tuesday.
  • Those slated to speak at events today include former Vice President Joe Biden, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough, Gov. Wolf, Mayor Kenney, political commentator Cokie Roberts, Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter, and museum chair Gen. John P. Jumper. The Philadelphia Boys Choir, a brass quintet from the Curtis Institute of Music, and Hamilton star Sydney James Harcourt are scheduled to perform.

7:30 a.m.: It's opening day for the museum. As we await the kickoff of opening-day events, check out for a virtual tour of the museum and more details about its making. We'll have more updates here when events get started around 8 a.m. Follow reporters Jeff Gammage and Stephan Salisbury for more updates from the museum's opening.