Sunday, July 6, 2014

Last Call for the Please Touch Museum

In what should be one of Philadelphia's premier pockets of culture and tourism, Centennial Park's attractions continue to elude their visitors as isolated venues. While the Philadelphia Zoo, the Please Touch Museum, and the Mann Center are geographically close to the Schuylkill Banks and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, getting there on foot is another story.

A journey that could be aided by a simple crosswalk on Kelly Drive below the Girard Avenue Bridge instead requires a Broad Street subway ride connecting to the Girard Avenue trolly or several bus transfers through West Philadelphia's less scenic neighborhoods. 

Despite the restoration of Parkside's Victorian mansions and proposed improvements to Centennial Park itself, the site of the the first World's Fair might as well be in another city. And the Please Touch Museum is reeling from the separation anxiety. Since the museum opened in 2008 it has amassed more than $50M in debt and the museum's investors want them to pay.

The museum holds a lot of local oddities including a children's monorail that used to wind its way through Wanamaker's Department Store and a  detailed model of the Centennial Exposition. Hop on the Phlash and get up there while you still have a chance to see what the museum has to offer. It might not be there much longer.

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