The First President's House project is located on the site of the original house in which the first two Presidents of the new American nation lived – George Washington (November 1790 to March 1797) and John Adams (March 1797 to May 1800).
The architecture for this memorial exhibition references the floor plan of the original house in an open-air exhibit located just outside the entrance to the Liberty Bell Museum in Philadelphia.
Although initially reluctant, Independence National Historical Park expanded its interpretation to include the story of the nine enslaved African Americans – Moll, Christopher Sheels, Hercules, his son Richmond, Oney Judge, her brother Austin, Giles, Paris, and Joe – who had worked for George Washington in the President's House. The First President's House project opened in 2010, acknowledging the slaves and their place in Philadelphia and United States history.
Magian Design Studio worked with Kelly Maiello Architects to develop a successful competition concept for The President's House in Philadelphia. Kelly Maiello won the architectural competition to build and implement the project. Magian was responsible for the creative and technical design of the media components of the project as well as the design and specification of the multimedia hardware systems. Screens on site show videos which were produced to tell stories for the major 'rooms' in the house including The State Dining Room, The President's Private Dining Room, The Steward's Room, The Kitchen and the Slaves Dining Room.
All video programs were produced by Louis Massiah with scripts written by Lorene Carey. Each video station consists of a series of six vignettes that accumulate to tell the stories of the enslaved people who lived beside President George Washington, his family and friends, in this house.
Magian designed and produced the soundscapes for the project. Forty-eight audio channels form a dynamic, non-repetitive sound environment throughout the site. Each room as a soundscape comprised of ambient sound and voice recordings of texts drawn from letters and other documents.
The Magian DiAC System is used to manage and control the dynamic randomized soundscapes as well as site management features.
The First President's House