Benjamin Franklin House
- This article is about the former London home of Benjamin Franklin. For the early 20th century high-rise hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States, see Ben Franklin House.
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Benjamin Franklin House is a museum in a terraced Georgian house at 36 Craven Street, London, close to Trafalgar Square. It is the only surviving former residence of Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. The house dates from circa 1730, and Franklin lived and worked there for sixteen years. The museum opened to the public on 17 January 2006.
36 Craven Street is a Grade I listed property and so retains a number of its original features (include original floorboards, original ceilings, and original staircases) with relatively few later alterations. Current conservation policies emphasise the need for minimal modern interventions.
The "Historical Experience" includes an actor portraying historical characters associated with the house along with dialog, sound, lighting, and special effects. The character used in the "Historical Experience" is Polly Hewson, the daughter of Franklin's landlady who became a "second daughter" to Franklin.
The "Student Science Centre" allows students to re-create experiments from Franklin's sojourn in London. It includes a Medical History Room (focused on the medical research of William Hewson, who did his work from the house for a time), a Discovery Room (containing historical artifacts), and a Demonstration Room (in which students can replicate Franklin's experiments).
The Benjamin Franklin House is open free-of-charge to school visits on Tuesdays. Although designed for key stage 2 students, visits can be tailored for students of all key stages.
The "Scholarship Centre" on the top floor of the House is a centre for study of the many subjects Franklin pursued.
Benjamin Franklin House runs an annual Literary Prize in which people interpret a Benjamin Franklin quote in its significance today.
- Tom Huntington "Franklin's Last Home," American Heritage, April/May 2006.
- Benjamin Franklin House School Visits, http://www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org/site/sections/education/school_visits.htm
- Official website
- The Friends of the Benjamin Franklin House, U.S. Records, documenting many aspects of the project to restore 36 Craven Street, are available for research use at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.