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Releases: Expanded View

Aug 19 2013

Fact Sheet: Benjamin Franklin’s Philadelphia Legacy

Benjamin Franklin’s presence is everywhere in Philadelphia. Here’s a look at some of the many places visited by, founded by and for, inspired by or named for the city’s most famous citizen, including the new Benjamin Franklin Museum, a National Park Service site that honors the Founding Father’s life and legacy.

Founded To Honor Franklin:

  • Benjamin Franklin Museum – The life of Benjamin Franklin will once again hold court in Franklin Court, where the underground museum reopens in August 2013 after a two-year renovation. The revamped museum features artifacts and interactive exhibitions that chronicle the inventor’s life as a citizen and statesman. The above-ground “ghost house” and courtyard remain intact. 318 Market Street, (267) 514-1523, nps.gov/inde

Philadelphia Landmarks In Franklin’s Life:

  • Independence Hall – A signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the framers of the Constitution, Franklin spent many, many days here. Chestnut Street between 5th & 6th Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • Franklin Court – Outside the Benjamin Franklin Museum lies Franklin Court, the site of Franklin’s home (which is outlined by a life-sized ghost structure) and the printing office of his grandson. Because he was postmaster general of the new nation, there is a U.S. Post Office as well. 314-322 Market Street, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde
  • Christ Church – Franklin worshipped here on occasion (he sat in pew 70) and even had his children baptized in this historic church. He also supervised the lotteries that financed the Church’s tower and steeple. 2nd & Market Streets, (215) 922-1695, christchurchphila.org
  • Christ Church Burial Ground – Here lie Ben and his wife Deborah, along with a number of other historic figures. Visitors often toss pennies on Franklin’s grave for good luck. Arch Street between 4th & 5th Streets, (215) 922-1695, christchurchphila.org
  • Bartram’s Garden – On one of John and William Bartram’s many explorations to gather plant specimens, several of which were supported by Franklin, the father-and-son botanist team discovered seeds of a tree that they later propagated and named the Franklinia alatamaha tree in honor of their friend. 54th Street & Lindbergh Boulevard, (215) 729-5281, bartramsgarden.org
  • Stenton – Franklin often visited the 1730 Georgian home of James Logan, his friend and secretary to Pennsylvania founder, William Penn. 4601 N. 18th Street, (215) 329-7312, stenton.org
  • Free Quaker Meeting House – Franklin supported an individual’s right to worship as he or she wished. This meeting house was one of several places of worship that were made possible through Franklin’s financial support. 5th & Arch Streets, (215) 965-2305, nps.gov/inde/free-quaker.htm
  • Masonic Temple – Like a number of the nation’s Founding Fathers, Franklin was an active member of the Freemasons. 1 N. Broad Street, (215) 988-1900, pagrandlodge.org
  • Carpenters’ Hall – The site of the First Continental Congress was once the home of Franklin’s Library Company and the American Philosophical Society, two organizations founded by Franklin. 320 Chestnut Street, (215) 925-0167, carpentershall.com

Founded By Franklin:

  • American Philosophical Society – Franklin founded the American Philosophical Society (APS) “to cultivate the finer arts, and improve the common stock of knowledge” in the young colonies. Since its founding in 1743, APS has boasted more than 200 Nobel Prize winners as members. Philosophical Hall, the society’s current home, was completed in 1789. 104-105 S. 5th Street, (215) 440-3400, amphilsoc.org
  • The Library Company of Philadelphia – Books were rare and expensive in the colonies and that inspired Franklin to form this subscription library, a precursor to today’s public lending libraries and the oldest cultural institution in America. 1314 Locust Street, (215) 546-3181, librarycompany.org
  • Fire Department (Fireman’s Hall Museum) – To combat the lethal fires that destroyed lives and property, Franklin organized a group of volunteers to fight fires, and the idea soon caught on throughout the city. 147 N. 2nd Street, (215) 923-1438, firemanshall.org
  • University of Pennsylvania – Unlike other schools that focused on educating the clergy, Franklin’s Publick Academy of Philadelphia, later named the University of Pennsylvania, prepared students for business and public service. 3451 Walnut Street, (215) 898-5000, upenn.edu
  • Pennsylvania Hospital – When Franklin helped found Pennsylvania Hospital in 1751, he created the first hospital in America. 8th & Spruce Streets, (215) 829-3000, pennmedicine.org/pahosp
  • B. Free Franklin Post Office – As postmaster general for Philadelphia, and later for all the colonies, Franklin created regular postal delivery routes and laid the groundwork for a nationwide mail system. 315 Market Street

Named After Franklin:

  • The Franklin Institute – Franklin’s scientific experiments were the inspiration for this interactive museum, which began as a scientific research institution in 1824. Built partly with money raised by the Poor Richard Club, The Franklin Institute is now home to a national memorial dedicated to Franklin. 222 N. 20th Street, (215) 448-1200, fi.edu
  • Franklin Square – One of the five original squares in William Penn’s “greene countrie towne,” Northeast Square was renamed Franklin Square in 1825 and more recently transformed into a playground with a carousel, mini-golf course and a food stand. Today, Bolt of Lightning, a 101-foot sculpture by Isamu Noguchi, towers above the square from across the street. 6th Street at Vine Street, historicphiladelphia.org
  • Franklin Field – Like its namesake, the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field has a long history of firsts, including the first running of the famous Penn Relays, first scoreboard, first two-tiered stadium, site of the first radio and television football broadcasts and site of Vince Lombardi’s only NFL playoff loss. 33rd Street at South Street, (215) 898-6151, pennathletics.com
  • Benjamin Franklin Parkway – Often compared to the Champs Elysées in Paris, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway stretches from Logan Circle to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and boasts many cultural institutions along its broad boulevard. parkwaymuseumsdistrict.org
  • Benjamin Franklin Bridge – Connecting Center City, Philadelphia to Camden, New Jersey, the bridge makes for a scenic walk across the Delaware River and features changing computer-generated lights that have become one of the city’s signature landmarks. drpa.org
  • Franklin Mills Mall – Hundreds of outlet stores and shops make this mall a bargain hunter’s paradise. Woodhaven & Knights Roads, (215) 632-1500, simon.com/mall/franklin-mills

Public Art Inspired By Franklin:
Just some of the dozens of pieces of outdoor art dedicated to Franklin:

  • Benjamin Franklin – Franklin was honored in 1899 with this statue created by John J. Boyle. University of Pennsylvania, Blanche Levy Park, College Hall, between Spruce & Locust Streets and 34th & 36th Streets
  • Ben Franklin (on a bench) – Casually seated on a bench reading his newspaper, Franklin seems ready to engage in conversation with a passerby. By George Lundeen. University of Pennsylvania, 37th Street & Locust Walk
  • Benjamin Franklin in 1723 – The artist who sculpted this statue of Franklin with a walking stick was also a physician, physical therapist and the first professor of physical education at the University of Pennsylvania. By R. Tait McKenzie. University of Pennsylvania, Weightman Hall, 33rd Street south of Locust Street
  • Bolt of Lightning...A Memorial to Benjamin Franklin – Iconic images of a kite, key and lighting bolt in metal capture Franklin’s famous experiment. By Isamu Noguchi. Monument Plaza, foot of Benjamin Franklin Bridge, 6th & Vine Streets
  • Benjamin Franklin, Craftsman (or Young Ben Franklin) – A young and strong Franklin is depicted working at a printing press. By Joseph Brown. Municipal Services Building, Broad Street & John F. Kennedy Boulevard
  • Benjamin Franklin in Fireman’s Hat – A profile of Franklin in a fireman’s helmet is mounted to the building’s façade. By Dexter (Charles D. Wentworth III) Jones. Fire Station, 4th & Arch Streets
  • Benjamin Franklin National Memorial – Majestic and larger than life, this national memorial dominates the rotunda of The Franklin Institute. The statue is 20-feet high, weighs 30 tons and sits on a 92-ton marble pedestal. By James Earle Fraser. 20th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway
  • Untitled Keystones – Along with the sculpture of Franklin, the keystones include images of William Penn, Moses and Sympathy. By Alexander Milne Calder. City Hall, Broad & Market Streets
  • Big Ben at Franklin Town – This lighthearted metal sculpture of Franklin’s head is complete with eyeglasses. By Alexander Generalis. I-676 overpass, 17th & Vine Streets
  • Benjamin Franklin – When an 18th-century Englishman traveling through America saw a bust of Franklin in Congress Hall, he called Franklin “the author of their great liberties.” Artist Unknown. Congress Hall, 6th & Chestnut Streets
  • Benjamin Franklin – Franklin (made of stone and marble) stands with a scepter in his hand. By Joseph A. Bailly. Public Ledger Building (interior), 6th & Chestnut Streets
  • Benjamin Franklin – A replica of the statue at the Library Company of Philadelphia, this piece depicts Franklin holding an inverted scepter, indicating the colonies’ triumph over British rule. By Lewis Iselin (after Francesco Lazzarini and Jean Jacques Caffiéri). American Philosophical Society, 5th & Chestnut Streets
  • Benjamin Franklin – Franklin himself approved his garb in this piece, a combination of a gown and modern dress. By Francesco Lazzarini. Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street
  • Benjamin Franklin with Kite – Franklin stands with a kite by his side, a salute to his famous experiment. By Agnes Yarnall. Coxe Park, Cherry & Beechwood Streets
  • Benjamin Franklin – This painting on glass depicts Franklin and some other 18th-century Philadelphia residents. By David Mitchell. Historic Philadelphia Center, 6th & Chestnut Streets
  • Ben Franklin and William Penn – This painting features two statues of Penn and Franklin, the former a top City Hall and the latter as portrayed by John Boyle at Penn. By Richard Haas. Chestnut Street between 23rd & 24th Streets
  • Signers’ Hall – Life-size statues depict Franklin and other delegates of the Philadelphia Convention as they created the Constitution in 1787. By StudioEIS. National Constitution Center, Arch Street between 5th & 6th Streets

For Benjamin Franklin press releases photos and b-roll, visit visitphilly.isebox.net. Consumers can go to visitphilly.com/ben for information about the museum and Ben’s Philadelphia.

The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases business and promotes the region’s vitality.

For more information about travel to Philadelphia, visit visitphilly.com or uwishunu.com, where you can build itineraries; search event calendars; see photos and videos; view interactive maps; sign up for newsletters; listen to HearPhilly, an online radio station about what to see and do in the region; book hotel reservations and more. Or, call the Independence Visitor Center, located in Historic Philadelphia, at (800) 537-7676.

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Festivities Include Free Admission To New Benjamin Franklin Museum, Contests & More

Ben Franklin is still quite the celebrity and his upcoming 308th birthday on January 17, 2014 is cause for many celebrations in his longtime home of Philadelphia. Free admission to new Benjamin Franklin Museum, a Franklin-themed getaway giveaway, birthday parties and appearances by Ben himself are among the festivities to honor America’s favorite Founding Father.

Here’s a look at how Philadelphia will mark Ben’s big day:

Fun & Free: Facebook Contest & Museum Admission:

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Inspired by the new Benjamin Franklin Museum, opening on Saturday, August 24, 2013, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) polled their Philly Friends opinion panel about the city’s favorite Founding Father.

Question 1: What is Ben Franklin's most admirable trait? (sample size: 112)

  • His Inventiveness, 40.2%
  • His Love of Beer, 17.9%
  • His Wit, 17.0%
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  • His Clever Writing, 9.8%
  • His Fashion Sense, 0.9%

Question 2: Of all of Ben Franklin's inventions, which is your favorite? (sample size: 112)

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Benjamin Franklin's Resume

RESUME
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

CAREER OBJECTIVE: Secure a challenging position or positions in which I can apply my collaboration, mediation and relationship-building skills to create a better world

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND:

  • Completed two years of elementary education
  • Participated in self-education program, reading the works of Plutarch, Daniel Defoe and Cotton Mather, among others (lifetime activity)
  • Awarded honorary degrees from Harvard and Yale (1753)
  • Awarded honorary Master of Arts degree from William and Mary College (1756)
  • Awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (1759)
  • Awarded honorary doctorate degree from Oxford University, England
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Itinerary Inspired By The Life & Legacy Of Benjamin Franklin

LOCATION: Historic District, Center City and University City

TRANSPORTATION: By foot in Historic District, by taxi or Septa for locations beyond

TIME: Three days, two nights

SUMMARY: Featured on visitphilly.com/itineraries, this exploration beckons visitors to follow Benjamin Franklin through the streets of his adopted city, where he invented many institutions and products still in use today and where later generations have created many attractions that honor his legacy. The itinerary starts at the newly renovated Benjamin Franklin Museum, full of Franklin’s possessions, inventions and interactive games to help visitors better understand one of history’s most prolific men.

ITINERARY:

Day

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Fact Sheet: Franklin By The Numbers

This is an Independence National Historical Park fact sheet.

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  • In 1718, at the age of 12, Benjamin Franklin was apprenticed to his brother James to work in James’ printing house.
  • In 1722, at the age of 16, Benjamin Franklin’s “Silence Doogood” letters were published in his brother’s newspaper, Boston’s New England Courant.
  • In 1723 Benjamin Franklin arrived in Philadelphia, a 17 year old runaway apprentice
...
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This is an Independence National Historical Park fact sheet.

With 9,500 square feet of exhibit space, the Benjamin Franklin Museum includes:

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  • Oldest artifact: Mastodon tooth fossil – Fossilized stone / Independence National Historical Park / This tooth, found at Franklin Court in 1959, likely was among a group of fossils sent to Franklin in London in 1767. Franklin found the fossils “extremely curious.” Discovered near the Ohio River, they came from a mastodon, an ancient, elephant-like creature.
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World's Only Benjamin Franklin Museum To Open In Philadelphia On August 24

Museum Honors Life & Legacy Of Famed Founding Father

When the new Benjamin Franklin Museum opens in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 24, visitors can delve into all aspects of Franklin’s life, from his role as statesman and diplomat to his life as a private citizen, inventor, philosopher and more. Built next to the site where Franklin actually lived in the mid 1700s, the underground museum was originally built for the 1976 Bicentennial celebration. Now, after undergoing a major transformation, the revitalized site will feature personal artifacts, computer animations and interactive displays. It is the only museum in the world dedicated to the life, times and legacy of this extraordinary

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