Parkway Institutions To Take Revenue Hit From Pope Visit


Expect key Parkway cultural institutions like the Barnes Foundation, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and others to be closed during Pope Francis’ visit in late September | Photo: Bradley Maule

  • September’s World Meeting of Families is expected to infuse some $420 million into the regional economy, yet as The Inquirer previews, little of that will go to the cultural institutions that will provide the backdrop to the event’s biggest draw, the open-air mass celebrated by the Pontiff himself. No plans have been finalized, but expect the Art Museum, the Barnes Foundation, and Logan Square’s Academy of Natural Sciences, Franklin Institute, and Free Library to be closed for most or all of the last weekend of September. And any profits to be had from the renting out of space may very well be canceled by the necessary added in-house security costs. Arts leaders are seemingly happy to take the hit for the city for this once-in-a-generation event, yet worry that the Parkway’s use as civic and entertainment venue may be becoming too frequent.
  • The arts and education group Taller Puertorriqueño has concluded a decade-long $11.4 million fundraising effort, says PlanPhilly‘s Ashley Hahn, and will break ground on its El Corazón Cultural Center this fall. The WRT-designed building will rise on what is now a 2.3-acre parking lot at North 5th & Huntingdon Streets, providing enough space in which to “put its programs, shop, gallery, office under one roof with room to grow. It will be a place where Taller Puertorriqueño can continue and expand its arts education and cultural programs, mount more significant exhibitions for Latino and Puerto Rican artists, and provide space for community gatherings.”
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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1 Comment

  1. It is Secret Service running the show. They got the museums to close down on the two days the Pope is in Philly on the theory people would simply buy a ticket to have a cool place to relax in. The Museums welcome the closure as they will save on overtime and security costs.

    If those geniuses were smart, they would have barred all except those who paid for a ticket to be allowed in the secure area to watch the Pope. The Masses will be televised free to all those smart enough to stay home. You will let one or possibly two million people sit/stand for hours on the Parkway to wait for the Pope. How will you be able to find potable water, bathrooms if not enough portable ones are sited nearly or the toilet paper is all gone and no replacements are available? Medical care if one needs one? Making people walk miles from 52nd and Girard on Regional Rail will increase stress on overtaxed bodies. If they were smart, they would have stocks of bananas for people to eat especially if food sells out fast for a much larger crowd. The hospitals will be overtaxed with an influx of sick people.

    Secret service runs the whole show. Disagree and they will tell the Pope not to come at all. Rationality is out of the window.

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