Plans were unveiled yesterday for a new Center for Human Rights Education to be built at 16th Street and the Parkway.
The glass-encased building designed by well-known architect Moshe Safdie will be erected at the site of North America’s first Holocaust Monument, which has stood at the intersection since 1964.
Those connected to the monument expect the new building to help in educating young people on issues surrounding diversity and the rights of all people, throughout both Philadelphia and the world.
“I am certain that we will create much more than a place for Holocaust remembrance, but rather a place that is also dedicated to dialogue, growth and education — ultimately a beacon of light and understanding in an often hostile world,” said Marc Felgoise, vice president of the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation.
Safdie, whose roots actually began in Philadelphia in 1962 when he joined architect Louis Kahn’s firm, said he is excited to transform what is now an unusual triangle of land between 16th and 17th streets into a transparent structure.
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“The precious site ... calls for a subtle yet powerful structure,” he said. “During the day there is almost a sense of immateriality. At night, the lights within reflect, mingling with the lights of the city.
Upon entering the structure, all is transformed. There are two public levels: one at street level, and one below street level.”