The National Park Service announced on Monday it will not remove a statue of William Penn from the park in Philadelphia where his home once stood.
The announcement comes days after the Park Service initially said it would “rehabilitate” Welcome Park to “provide a more welcoming, accurate, and inclusive experience for visitors.” That initial rehabilitation plan also called for an “expanded interpretation of the Native American history of Philadelphia” and for the statue of Penn to “be removed and not reinstalled.”
On Monday, the Park Service said it had withdrawn the plan, describing it as “a draft” that “was released prematurely and had not been subject to a complete internal agency review.”
My team has been in contact with the Biden Administration throughout the day to correct this decision. I’m pleased Welcome Park will remain the rightful home of this William Penn statue — right here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Penn founded. https://t.co/awSTpcyrNp
— Governor Josh Shapiro (@GovernorShapiro) January 8, 2024
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) celebrated the news on X, formerly Twitter, writing that the park “will remain the rightful home of this William Penn statue — right here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Penn founded.”
Welcome Park is located on the site of Penn’s former home and is named after the ship, Welcome, on which Penn rode to Philadelphia, according to the Park Service.
Penn was granted the Charter of Pennsylvania, from King Charles II in 1681, which allowed him and his heirs “the authority to establish laws, as long as they did not conflict with those of England,” according to the Pennsylvania House of Representative’s website. By 1682 Penn outlined how the government should operate, creating a Provincial Council and the General Assembly.