By David Spunt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)– In less than a month, a museum celebrating America’s war for independence is set to open in the heart of Philadelphia.

Thousands of treasures can be found inside the Museum of the American Revolution in Old City; though it’s not open quite yet.

“I think it’s going to be like no experience anyone has ever had,” said Scott Stephenson, vice president of of collections and exhibitions at the museum.

Stephenson started 10 years ago when this building was just an idea on paper. Now, he’s watching the finishing touches take place and he invited CBS 3 along.

The tour started in a highly secure room underground, where rare artifacts practically overflow boxes.

A British coat of arms of King George III is just one of the few that survived.

“These symbols of the crown were literally pulled off of the walls, were paraded through towns, were thrown on to bonfires as an iconoclastic destruction of the King,” said Stephenson.

Upstairs, crews spent eight hours hanging a painting depicting Washington at the end of the Revolutionary War.

“The project is exactly on schedule and we are very solid in terms of meeting our opening deadlines,” said Michael Quinn, president and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution.

That opening deadline is April 19—-242 years to the day of the start of the war.

“Most people only see folks like that through paintings so there’s sort of a sense of distance there because we’re totally seeing it through somebody else’s eyes and through their brush strokes,” said Adrienne Whaley, museum educator.

Some would say the highlight is General George Washington’s headquarters tent. The tent is behind thick protective glass specially made in Europe. The tent will be part of a three dimensional presentation—much different than it was here in 1911—outside at Valley Forge with no protection.

“This was the only truly private place that he had as commander chief,” Stephenson said.

To learn more about the museum CLICK HERE.


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