There is a renaissance at Penn’s Landing. At a board meeting last month, incoming Independence Seaport Museum Board of Port Wardens chairman Peter McCausland announced four gifts to the institution totaling $13.9 million. These contributions more than double the institution’s endowment, and ensure the future of the “River Alive” project, the boatbuilding shop’s programs for Philadelphia school children, the preservation and interpretation of the cruiser “Olympia” and submarine “Becuna,” and the completion of the full sized replica of the schooner “Diligence.”

In the coming weeks, ISM will explore plans for expanded programs and new, mixed use facility that will be a new anchor for a revitalized Delaware River waterfront.

For Wyndmoor resident and ISM CEO John Brady, these multi-million dollar gifts are truly transformative. During his four years at the helm, Brady has worked hard to expand the Museum’s audience.

“The Seaport Museum’s mission is to deepen the understanding, appreciation and experience of the Philadelphia region’s waterways,” he said. “We do this with exhibits, hands-on activities like boat building, our ships “Olympia” and “Becuna,” and activities on the water such as the upcoming Tall Ships event. We are using maritime history as a window into science, and using science as a way to have fun.”

McCausland, the founder of Airgas Inc. and resident of Lafayette Hill, has strong faith in Brady’s vision.

“ISM is clearly headed in the right direction under John Brady’s leadership,” McCausland said. “Our new vision and mission, focused on everything about the region’s waterways, including history, art, science and engineering, will make our institution an important part of the region’s cultural landscape.”

Brady and McCausland are enthusiastic about the newly expanded ISM Board of Port Wardens, which includes Chestnut Hill area residents Anthony “Tony” Brady, Thomas “Tim” Greenwood (Vice Chair), Thomas Emlen, and Sam Katz. “

With a highly motivated board, a talented staff and a great location we are poised to take full advantage of the Philadelphia waterfront’s resurgence,” Brady said.

New board member Anthony “Tony” Brady, principal of Somerset Properties and resident of Flourtown, said, “I am honored to be on the Board of Port Wardens of the Independence Seaport Museum which is an outstanding institution that promotes educational, environmental and historical programs to our country who’s development and future heavily relies on our waterways. It is my hope that my involvement with the Independence Seaport Museum will increase its usefulness and help to further enrich our community.”

Katz, executive producer of History Making Productions and resident of West Mount Airy, is looking forward to the work ahead because of the waterfront’s central place in the city’s history.

“The Delaware River is steeped in Philadelphia’s social, economic, immigration and ecological history,” he said. “Being a director of the Independence Seaport Museum is a great honor and has afforded the opportunity to really understand the incredible river history that so drives our city’s story. From its great challenges several years ago, the ISM has become one of the truly fascinating heritage institutions among so many great ones.”