I-95 archaeology exhibit in Kensington Thursday

The objects on display, and experts present, will tell stories of the neighborhoods' industrial, Colonial, and Native American past.

Objects that tell stories from more than 5,000 years of Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Kensington and Port Richmond history will be on display Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church in Kensington.

The museum-quality exhibit will feature numerous artifacts unearthed at several sites beneath I-95 in the Fishtown and Port Richmond neighborhoods — including the site of the former William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Company — along with a variety of historic photographs, interpretive exhibits and a slide show of the excavations.

Staff from PennDOT and the URS Corporation, PennDOT’s archaeological team on the project, will be present to provide additional information and answer questions.

Artifacts found include tools, arrowheads, cooking pots and smoking pipes manufactured by Native Americans who lived along the Delaware River from 3560 B.C. to 1500 A.D. Also on display will be historical artifacts dating from the early 1700s through the early 1900s and associated with fishermen, shipbuilders and tradesmen who lived on the waterfront during this period.

The exhibit also includes objects from and information on the glass industry that developed on the Delaware River waterfront during the 18th through early 20th centuries.

The free event, “Before and Below I-95 in 2014,” will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church  at 418 E. Girard Ave.

Archaeological excavations for PennDOT’s I-95 improvement project in the area of the Girard Avenue Interchange began in 2008 and archaeological work continues along the corridor.  Learn more about the archaeology and see photographs of found items here.

Construction at the Girard Avenue Interchange and on adjacent sections of I-95 is currently being done under three construction contracts valued at $342 million. The improvement program is financed with federal and state funds.

About the author

Kellie Patrick Gates, Waterfront, casinos, planning reporter

Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she  worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.

Follow her on Twitter @KelliePGates

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