Construction is beginning on the new Museum of the American Revolution (MoAR) in the historic heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, due in part to a gift from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The $1.5 million donation from the Church was presented to H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest, chairman of the museum, on Thursday, 24 April 2014, by Dennis C. Brimhall, president and CEO of FamilySearch International, which is affiliated with the Church.
Rendering of the Museum of the American Revolution. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave $1.5 million to help build the museum.
The ceremony was hosted by a representative of the office of Mayor Michael A. Nutter in Philadelphia’s City Hall. Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and Michael Quinn, president and CEO of the museum, also attended the event.
“The story of America’s founding is one of faith, family and religious freedom,” said Brimhall. “The Museum of the American Revolution bundles all of these essential attributes of the founding generations and will exhibit them in inspiring, inclusive and interactive ways.”
The gift makes the Church the newest founder-level supporter of the museum and helps the private, nonprofit organization reach a milestone in its fundraising efforts. More than $100 million has been raised so far toward its $150 million goal.
“We have many donors to thank for their generosity and commitment to the museum and want to particularly thank our LDS friends for this gift, which has gotten us to a milestone,” said Quinn.
“I’ve always felt like the Church embodies American values, values that this country was built on and still treasures,” said Rendell.
"With more than 25,000 members in and around the city of Philadelphia, this support demonstrates our commitment to and interest in building our local community,” said Elder Robert B. Smith, an Area Seventy of the Church’s North America Northeast Area.
MoAR will tell the complete story of the American revolutionary era that dates from 1760 to 1783, when the 13 American colonies broke away from the British Empire and formed an independent nation, the United States of America. The museum, scheduled to open in late 2016, will feature objects, artifacts, artwork and manuscripts, as well as a "Discovery Center" supported by FamilySearch.