PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Museum of the American Revolution in Old City is nearing the finish line.
It will open to the public on April 19, but on Tuesday, KYW Newsradio got a peak at the crown jewel of the museum’s artifacts that will be on display.
It’s considered the first oval office. George Washington’s headquarters tent which served as his office and sleeping quarters during much of the revolutionary war.
— John McDevitt (@JohnMcDevittKYW) January 31, 2017
“It would have been erected at Valley Forge, York Town.” Michael Quinn is the president and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution.
“The center part between the two poles, had an interior tent which set that off and that served as Washington’s office and working space. Then on one end was his sleeping quarters– at the other end was the sleeping quarters– of his enslaved assistant– Billy Lee who was a slave at Mount Vernon and was with Washington through much of the Revolution.”
The 300-square-foot tent is behind glass in a temperature controlled room. It’s one of the largest display cases ever created for a rare artifact.
“It’s under this tent that he made decisions and wrestled with issues that truly changed the course of history,” Quinn explained.
“You’ll be able to experience what it was like to actually be inside this tent and learn a little bit about the people other than Washington that worked and met with Washington in there,” said Scott Stephenson, the vice president of collections and programming for the museum.
The tent will be apart of multi-layered mix media presentation in a 100-seat theater. The process to conserve and display the tent was one of the most complex and complicated in history, involving engineers, historians, tailors and curators.
Ukee Washington contributed to this report…