Tales from inside the President’s House

The President’s House, the Philadelphia home of George Washington and John Adams when they served as president of the country, opened on Independence Mall yesterday.

The reconstructed house — which cost $12 million to fix up — sits on its original foundation. It tells the story of not only Washington and Adams but also details the lives of the nine African slaves that Washington kept in his household.

Controversy began during construction when some wanted the site to only be solely about the presidents. Another contingent led by attorney Michael Coard of Avenging the Ancestors Coalition insisted that the site include the history of the Africans enslaved by Washington.

“I have been called the angriest black man in America,” Coard said yesterday. “Today, I am not angry. This is our Mt. Rushmore, Statue of Liberty and Liberty Bell.”

Renee Chenault Fattah, standing in for her husband U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, noted $3.5 million that Congress appropriated for the project at the behest of her husband and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady.

“Not all earmarks are bad,” she said.

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