Neshaminy Mall’s Massive Historical Dioramas Are Saved by a Partial Rescue


The Historical Society of Bensalem has rescued four of the seven the massive Neshaminy Mall dioramas, keeping them safe for the time being, reports 6ABC

As reported two weeks ago, these intricate displays — installed as part of the Strawbridge & Clothier department store — were large-scale representations of local history. Through animated figures and music, they captured local moments in history, such as the winter encampment at Valley Forge and the salvation of the Liberty Bell from British threat. 

The intricate depictions have been in danger since the closure of Macy’s (which replaced Straws) in 2017. 

Sally Van Sant Sondesky, 87, is one of the founders of Bensalem’s Historical Society. The organization has worked closely with Bensalem Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo to acquire permission from the building owner to retrieve and preserve each piece. 

“I’m just so glad to be here and getting these out,” Sondesky said. “You can’t imagine.” 

The piece recreating the signing of the Declaration of Independence will stay in Bensalem permanently. Sondesky hopes to distribute the remaining displays among relevant institutions across the Philadelphia area. 

Further details on the future of the Neshaminy Mall dioramas is available at 6ABC, here

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