Wendy Royal Spring 2023
To say that Benjamin Franklin left his mark on America is an understatement. For Philadelphia specifically, he was and is the lifeblood of the city. His footprint is everywhere. Let’s explore a few places and institutions impacted by Franklin.
Fireman‘s Hall Museum
Benjamin Franklin is credited with forming the Union Fire Company on Dec. 17, 1736, in Philadelphia.
Fireman’s Hall Museum is located in a restored firehouse in Philly’s historic Old City district. The museum’s mission is to preserve Philadelphia’s firefighting history.
Benjamin Franklin Museum
The entire museum is dedicated to Franklin’s legacy and contributions to society. From his personal life to his public persona, including his roles from scientist to statesman, the museum explores the life of the outspoken Founding Father.
What an honor it is to visit the place of our nation’s founding. Independence Hall is where our Founding Fathers defied the King of England and formed an independent nation.
Carpenters’ Hall was the site of the First Continental Congress (1774), where ideals and ideas were spoken with the then-moniker of traitor hanging over the heads of those in attendance. The beautiful structure was also home to Franklin’s Library Company, the American Philosophical Society, and the First and Second Banks of the United States.
Constructed between 1727 and 1744, Christ Church was the place of worship for many famous revolutionaries. Among the congregation were the likes of William Penn, George Washington, Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross. Ben Franklin raised money for the tower and steeple, both of which were added in 1754.
Christ Church Burial Ground
Visit the cemetery where citizens were laid to rest with historic figures like Ben Franklin and medical pioneer Dr. Benjamin Rush. Not surprisingly, Franklin’s grave is the most visited in the cemetery.
The National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center uses high-tech displays, exhibits, priceless artifacts and video to provide information about the U.S. Constitution. Visitors can view one of the rare original public copies of the Constitution as well as an original copy of the Bill of Rights.
Signers’ Hall features life-size bronze statues of the Constitution’s signers and those who chose not to sign.
The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute opened in 1824 to honor the inventiveness of Ben Franklin. It was moved from its original home in Independence Hall in 1934. The hands-on science museum is a favorite of adults and children.
Franklin Square is one of the city’s five original public squares laid out by William Penn. Originally named North East Publick Square, the site was renamed to honor Ben Franklin in 1825. Though the area has been used for many different purposes over the years, including a military parade ground and cattle pasture, today the square is a place for families to gather.
These are just a few destinations with a Franklin connection. His contributions far exceed those covered in this article. For more information on Franklin’s Philly, log on to www.visitphilly.com.
Biographer Carl Van Doren wrote, “No other town burying its great man, ever buried more of itself than Philadelphia with Franklin.”