The Please Touch Museum declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last September to settle a $60 million debt it incurred to pay for the museum’s move from Center City to Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park in 2008. On Wednesday, a federal judge agreed to a plan that will lift the Please Touch Museum’s $60 million debt for a payment of $11.25 million.
New chief executive Patricia Wellenbach called it “a great burden lifted” for the museum, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this fall.
The kid friendly institute needed to raise about $8.25 million through fundraising before this month, or the point when the reorganization process can be finalized. In all, the tax-exempt children’s museum has raised $7.86 million since it began the bankruptcy process in September. The William Penn Foundation provided $1.3 million, the Neubauer Family Foundation $1 million, and the Hamilton Family Foundation $350,000. The largest donation was $3.25 million from an anonymous individual. To persuade foundations and philanthropists to contribute, Wellenbach had to sell them on the possibility of rejuvenating the institution for new generations of children. The City of Philadelphia and some long-term vendors also agreed to accept less than they were owed to help the museum out of Chapter 11.