Biden’s National Park Service to Remove William Penn Statue from Philadelphia

William Penn (Reading Tom / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Reading Tom / Flickr / CC / Cropped

The National Park Service, under President Joe Biden, has announced that it intends to remove the statue of William Penn from Welcome Park in Philadelphia — the historic home of the founder of Pennsylvania, and an important early colonial figure.

In a statement Friday, the National Park Service said (emphasis added):

The National Park Service proposes to rehabilitate Welcome Park to provide a more welcoming, accurate, and inclusive experience for visitors. Welcome Park was designed by the internationally acclaimed design firm Venturi & Scott Brown Associates. The park is located on the site of William Penn’s home, the Slate Roof House, and is named for the ship, Welcome, which transported Penn to Philadelphia. The design and construction of Welcome Park was funded by the Independence Historical Trust and was completed in 1982.

The proposed rehabilitation of Welcome Park includes expanded interpretation of the Native American history of Philadelphia and was developed in consultation with representatives of the indigenous nations of the Haudenosaunee, the Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe of Indians, the Shawnee Tribe, and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. The reimagined Welcome Park maintains certain aspects of the original design such as the street grid, the rivers and the east wall while adding a new planted buffer on three sides, and a ceremonial gathering space with circular benches. The Penn statue and Slate Roof house model will be removed and not reinstalled. In a separate and future effort, new exhibit panels will be installed on the south site wall to replace the Penn timeline.

The public is invited to submit comments on this proposed design for the rehabilitation of Welcome Park for a 14-day period from January 8th – 21st, 2024 through the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) at

Penn is a uniquely respected figure in American history. A Quaker, he treated the Native Americans of the area with respect and deference. However, he also owned slaves, which has led to the removal of his name from some historic sites.

Philadelphia’s Independence Hall describes Welcome Park, and Penn’s importance to the founding of the United States:

Welcome Park was built by the Friends of Independence National Historical Park in 1982 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Pennsylvania by William Penn in 1682. It was designed by world-renowned architectural firm Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown. It is named for William Penn’s ship, the Welcome. It is located on the site of the Slate Roof House, Penn’s residence in Philadelphia from 1699-1701, across the street from the City Tavern. This outdoor “museum” celebrates the life of the colony’s founder. It was here as Proprietor of Pennsylvania that Penn penned the regulations for city and state government. It was here too that Penn promulgated the Charter of Privileges, guaranteeing religious liberty and civil freedoms to the inhabitants of “Penn’s Woods.” About four score and seven years later the Continental Congress drafted the United States Constitution which owes much in spirit to Penn’s Charter.

In his now-infamous remarks on the Charlottesville riot in 2017 — during which he actually condemned the neo-Nazis and white supremacists, contrary to the Democratic Party’s continued propaganda — then-President Donald Trump warned that the removal of Confederate statues would be followed by the removal of statues of American heroes — a prediction that continues to be fulfilled.

Biden kicked off his 2024 reelection campaign last week in Pennsylvania. He has not announced plans to rename the state.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the 2021 e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now updated with a new foreword. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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