Part of a $314 million makeover of Independence Mall, the new Liberty Bell Center provides a fitting setting for the icon of freedom. Located on Market Street between 5th and 6th Streets, the Center’s enclosed space measures 13,000 square feet and is 235 feet long by 50 feet wide. Glass walls and a metal-clad wood roof join a brick and stone-paved arbor way and sun-shading trellises to form the building’s enclosure.
The Center consists of three architectural elements: a covered outdoor area, an elongated rectilinear exhibit hall, and a glass chamber that houses the Bell itself. Fifteen-foot cupped walls of white marble surround the Bell, creating a comfortable environment for individuals and groups to adequately view it and reflect on its meaning. On the exterior, the extended roof plane shields the Bell from the south sun. It is a distinctly American building, seamlessly connected to the city and events that took place here.
The project earned several awards, including the 2000 AIA Philadelphia Honor Award for Design, the 2004 Excellence in Craftsmanship Award, the 2004 Golden Trowel Award, and the 2006 Tucker Award for Design.