Construction workers signing steel beam

Nov 1, 2019


PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 1, 2019 — Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, a $60-million coming attraction at Independence Mall, marked its topping off today with a celebration that saw workers sign and then lift into place the final steel beam. The milestone brings the center a significant step closer to its 2020 opening, when it will introduce an anticipated 250,000 annual visitors to an interactive, immersive experience exploring the relationship between faith and freedom in America—from the country’s founding to today. 

Already, Faith and Liberty Discovery Center is driving $100 million in economic impact through the creation of hundreds of temporary jobs related to its construction. Upon opening, it is projected to add $10 million annually to Philadelphia’s economy. It will employ around 60 people and generate an estimated $267,000 in state taxes each year.

Patrick Murdock, Faith and Liberty Discovery Center’s executive director, emceed the topping-off ceremony, which drew civic and faith leaders from across Philadelphia. 

Also participating were Robert Briggs, interim president and CEO of American Bible Society; Jim Cuorato, president and CEO of Independence Visitor Center, and John DeFazio, vice president of construction management firm LF Driscoll. An invocation was led by Father Dennis Gill of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

“When the Center opens, it will welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds,” said Robert Briggs, interim president and CEO of American Bible Society. “Our intent is to provide an environment that shows the similarities among diverse people, and that illustrates what unites us rather than what divides us as human beings.”

Geared to people of all faiths and no faith, Faith and Liberty Discovery Center will use unprecedented technology to demonstrate how the Bible has changed those who changed America. The experience is being actualized by the award-winning firm Local Projects, which recently spearheaded the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York and ranks as one of the most innovative design agencies in the nation. The Philadelphia principals of JacobsWyper Architects are leading the architectural design of the 40,000-square-foot attraction. It will feature an innovation and education center, five galleries and a 3D immersive theater on the ground floor and concourse levels of the Wells Fargo building at 5th and Market Streets, facing historic Independence Mall.

About the Faith & Liberty Discovery Center 

The Faith & Liberty Discovery Center explores the relationship between faith and freedom in America from its founding through today, illuminating the influence of the Bible on individuals in key historical and personal moments. Among America’s essential founding documents, the Bible is a significant cultural force that has inspired, influenced, and informed American ideals of liberty that continue to shape our national identity as a free people. The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center is a member of a Global Philadelphia Association, a non-profit group that assists and encourages greater interaction among the many international organizations that are based in Philadelphia. It has been featured in Philadelphia’s groundbreaking citywide innovation festival, B PHL. Learn more at


Stephanie Quilligan