After an extensive facelift, the world’s only museum dedicated to inventor, post master, philosopher and Founding Father is swinging open its doors in Old City Philadelphia. The Benjamin Franklin Museum allows visitors a chance to walk back in time and take a peak into all aspects of Franklin’s life from his role as statesman and diplomat to his work as a citizen, printer, scientist, musician and more.
Located within “the most historic square mile in America” in Independence National Historical Park, the museum is located at the so-called “Ghost House” structure that was once the location of Franklin’s Home. The 54-foot high steel skeleton structure of Franklin’s house was designed by noted architect Robert Venturi and was built in 1976 for the bicentennial of the United States.
The property known today as Franklin Court was once the site of a mansion built between 1763 and 1765 at Franklin’s instructions. His wife and daughter lived in the home while he served in England as an agent representing several colonies. Franklin resided at the home during the critical years of the United States founding 1775-1776 but left shortly thereafter to serve as a diplomat in France. He lived out his final years at the house from 1785 to 1790 when he died.
Perhaps it was ignorance or the lack of respect for Franklin’s contributions on the part of his heirs and no formal organization to preserve historic structures at the time but Franklin’s home was demolished in 1812 to make way for income-earning row homes in the then bustling section of Philadelphia. The structure’s walls were knocked into the building’s cellar and provided interesting artifacts when the site was excavated during several periods of research in the 20th century.
Thanks to a multi-million dollar makeover, the new museum sits atop a former underground attraction and features a number of interactive exhibits that immerse visitors into 18th century Philadelphia. The museum dedicated to the Boston transplant promises all the bells and whistles to keep visitors of all ages engaged in the story of Franklin.
On display will be a number of Franklin’s personal artifacts, computer-animated games and other interactive devices all meant to highlight Franklin’s contributions to Philadelphia, America and the world.
Regular museum admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children 4 to 16. The museum is located at 317 Chestnut Street. For more information on the museum visit