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Benjamin Franklin is one of the most popular figures in American history, due to his role as one of the founding fathers of the nation. But, as a philosopher, scientist and inventor, his contributions expand beyond the borders of the United States. He held many homes around the world and the Benjamin Franklin House, in the heart of London, is the only one that remains. If you are interested in history, this is a definitely an attraction to put on your list.
Benjamin Franklin’s house was built around 1730 and is located at 36 Craven Street in London. Franklin lived there almost sixteen years from 1757 to 1775. During the 20th century, the home was used as a hotel and a meeting place for many non-profit groups. Eventually, the Friends of the Benjamin Franklin House were granted a freehold from the British government, when they began to transform it into what it is now. The house now serves as a museum and education center. It was opened to the public on January 17th 2006, the 300th birthday of Franklin.
To this day, the house contains most of its original architecture and holds a Grade 1 listing. Some of the original features include bricks, beams, central staircase, lathing, 18th century paneling, stoves, windows and fittings. Very little has been modified in modern times.
As a museum and educational facility, there is much on offer here to help you learn more about Franklin and his work. There is the ‘’Historical Experience’’, where you tour the house and experience a mix of live performances, sound and visual projection to learn more about Franklin’s time in London. This ‘’museum theater’’ aims to bring visitors closer to the experience and what happened during his time here.
The Student Science Center educates visitors about scientific work Franklin did while in London, from hydrodynamics to lightening. Here students can learn more about science and satisfy some of their scientific curiosity by re-creating some of his experiments.
Lastly, there is the Scholarship Centre is a center of study for the various subjects Franklin pursued; contained here are research facilities and the full collection of the Papers of Benjamin Franklin. It also offers an internship program for students from the UK, US and other parts of the world to learn about education, marketing and running a museum. The center is named after Robert H. Smith, a man integral to turning the home into what it is today.
The ‘’Historical Experience’’ tours run Wednesday through Sunday at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m, 3.15 p.m and 4.15 p.m and last about 45 minutes. You can book tickets online at the museum’s website or calling the box office, which is open 10:30 to 5, except Tuesdays, when the house is also closed. Every Monday, there is an architectural tours where a guide will walk you through the house, explaining its features; you will also learn about Franklin’s historyin the home and the conservation project that helped save it. The hours are the same as those offered for the ‘’Historical Experience.’’ You can call the box office for tickets.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who has blogged about various travel topics. She recommends visiting the site to learn more. You will also see the John Studzinski biography .Studzinski is the the chairman of the Benjamin Franklin House.
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