Franklin Court, Philadelphia, PA
Franklin Court, Philadelphia, PA



United States

Franklin Court

Designed by the architectural firm of Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown (now known as Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates), this museum and memorial to Benjamin Franklin is sited in Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park. The complex was constructed on the site of Franklin’s home and includes a 30,000-square-foot underground museum, topped by two "ghost” structures approximating full-scale representations of Franklin’s house and adjacent print shop. The inner court’s landscape recalls an 18th-century garden, and quotations from Franklin’s letters to his wife during the house’s construction are incised in the paving. The original Venturi and Rauch project, completed in 1976, also involved work to reconstruct five adjacent period-houses and was completed in anticipation of nationwide Bicentennial celebrations.

This project, like Welcome Park in Philadelphia and Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., is a unique interpretive design by Venturi and Scott Brown, which reclaims urban space and transforms it into a public plaza. Franklin Court is a contributing property of Independence National Historical Park, so designated in 1966.

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