Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Letter to Governer Rendell about Joseph Priestley House

Dear Gov. Rendell:  

I would like to address the matter of the closing of the Joseph Priestley House in Northumberland, PA by the PA Historical and Museum Commission on August 14 of this year.  

While I am not a PA resident, I have followed with intense interest the developments this year. The site is a true national treasure and should be treated as such. I do understand the budgetary constraints that have plagued PA this year. I also do understand that the Friends of Joseph Priestley House are attempting to negotiate a way for them to operate the site. I think the Friends are a fine group (I am a member), but they do not have the real resources to do justice to the site.  

I propose, as an alternative, that you consider working with the U S Park Service to see if the site can be converted to a National Historic Site. If that were to occur, the site could be operated by the U S Park Service at no cost to the state of PA and still be made available to visitors. I know that the U S Park Service has just purchased the land for the memorial for United Flight 93 in PA, so there must be some discussions going on with the U S Park Service ongoing.  

This would be a wonderful compromise under the circumstances. It might even add additional tourism to PA if the site were made a National Historic Site of the U S Park Service since there are many people who want to tour U S Historic Sites (there are less than 100 such sites in the country). Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.

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