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Franklin Court

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Franklin Court
Independence National Historical Park-064.jpg
One of Venturi & Rauch's "ghost structures" in the courtyard
Established 1976
Location Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Type Biographical museum
Website

http://www.nps.gov/inde/planyourvisit/franklin-court.htm

Part of Independence National Historical Park (#66000683)
Designated NHLDCP October 15, 1966

Franklin Court is complex of museums, structures, and historic sites within Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is located at the site which American Patriot Benjamin Franklin had his Philadelphia residence from 1763 to his death in 1790.[1]

The complex was designed by the firm of Venturi and Rauch, and opened in 1976 as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration. The site consists of the archaeological remnants of the Benjamin Franklin's house and nearby buildings, "ghost" reconstruction of the form of the house and print shop, an underground museum focused on Franklin, and historic structures facing Market Street, including what are now a working post-office and printing-shop.

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  • National Park Service Ranger giving a presentation in the Franklin Court Printing Office
  • ⚖️ BROWARD BOND COURT - PART 1

Transcription

Welcome to the printing office at Franklin Court We'd like to think that if Franklin were to walk through the doors he would recognize all of the equipment in here and he would want to get right to work. Franklin was a printer, as a career, and he retired at the age of 42. He went on to do a lot of other things that we know him for. Politics, science experiments, inventions, but none of those things would have been possible without printing. A lot of the things that Franklin printed, he came up with himself. He had Poor Richard's Almanac which came out every year. He wrote or collected a lot of the interesting quotes and narratives and and he used cliff hangers to get people to want to buy the next years addition. Franklin had his own newspaper as well, the Pennsylvania Gazette, which sold on a weekly subscription. It would have looked similar to one we have from Colonial Williamsburg. As you can see, it's only on one sheet of paper but folded up into four pages. Franklin knew exactly how many newspapers he was going to print every week. Once Franklin had his ideas down on paper he put his thoughts together in our composing area, which is on the other side of the printing office, using a composing stick, which would have look similar to this. As you can see, the letters have been put in upside down They are also backwards so that when they print, it creates a mirror image. Now all of the spell check, grammar check, and the pretty alignment that you see in the final version, Franklin had to do all of that by hand. As you can see, most of the letters, would have been very tiny type. Once you've got everything together, most of the work continues on the printing press. We'll start with the paper. Paper was made from old rags, rag paper, made from old linen, cloths Franklin and his wife Deborah regularly collected old rags and sold them off to paper mills. From that, their paper was made. The ink beaters come next, this is how you apply your ink onto the type. The ink is made from tree sap, linseed oil, and lamp black, or soot from the fireplace. Different ingredients can be substituted to create different colors. Just like today, most printers would have used black ink. Now, we are going to fold the paper over on top of the typeset. Push it under this wooden block, and when we pull this lever of course the ink is being pressed into the paper. Printing would normally be a two person operation, at least. One person would be inking the press while the other person would be setting the paper. You had to work together well and you had to work quickly because you were expected to get one sheet out in fifteen seconds. The average print, printing press was expected to get out about a thousand pages a day. Now as you can see, all that work went into one sheet of paper. But we can break this paper up into several pages, which is exactly what we'll do when it dries. Let the paper dry over night, we have another press in the back that we will put it on to smooth out any of the wrinkles, we will cut it up and then just like Franklin, here in the Franklin Court printing office, we sell everything we print.

Contents

History of the site

The court was the site of the house which Benjamin Franklin had built in 1763, which he owned until his death in 1790. Though Franklin was overseas during a significant portion of that time, he was in Philadelphia during much of his tenure and involvement with both the Second Continental Congress and the United States Constitutional Convention. Franklin permanently moved into the house in 1785.[1]

The house itself was built within a large courtyard in the middle of the block, accessed through an alleyway from Market Street.

In 1787, Franklin built a print shop within the lot for his grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache, who would publish the Philadelphia Aurora there. Franklin died at the site in 1790.

The house (and with it, it is suspected, the print shop) was demolished in 1812 during a redevelopment of the courtyard to an income-producing property.[1] From 1950 on, the Park Service began purchasing and assembling the lots, and in the 1950s and 60s conducted archaeological excavations there in search of what remained of the Franklin-era structures.[1]

Architecture

The larger of Venturi and Rauch's ghost structures
The larger of Venturi and Rauch's ghost structures

With the approach of the United States Bicentennial celebration two years away, in 1974, the Philadelphia architectural firm of Venturi and Rauch created the design for the landscape and museum at Franklin Court.[1]

Most notable are the two "ghost structures" made of square tubular steel, recreating and suggesting the outline of the long-demolished buildings within the courtyard. The design resulted from inadequate historical information to properly reconstruct the structures, couple with emerging philosophical views at the time towards reconstruction of structures.[2][3] The design concept has since been emulated at other historic sites. Ten years after their construction, in 1986, the National Park Service specifically noted that the "ghost structures" should be evaluated upon reaching the 50-year limit for the National Register of Historic Places, and were listed as "non-historic, contributing."[1] According to the National Register nomination, the larger frame, depicting the Franklin House, is 49'5" x 33', by 50'6" tall at the crest of the roof, while the smaller frame, depicting the Print Shop, measures 48' by 20', with 48 feet to the crest of the roof.[1] Pavement changes demarcate the arrangement of rooms, and concrete hoods permit visitors to look down to the archaeological remains beneath.[1]

Benjamin Franklin Museum

The museum itself is located beneath much of the surface of the court, and was built around the archaeological remains of the house. It was listed as non-contributing in the National Register nomination.[4]

From 2011 to 2013, the Franklin Court Museum underwent a multi-year total renovation.[5][6] Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (who also worked for the firm at the time) expressed disapproval of the plan, insofar as it negatively altered the 1974 design considerations and failing to recognize those considerations.[7][8] The museum reopened to the public in August 2013.[9]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Independence National Historical Park National Register Nomination. National Park Service. 1988. pp. Section 7: Page 43–50 (pdf 55). Retrieved May 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. ^ Matero, Frank G. (11 May 2010). "Ben's House: Designing History at Franklin Court, Philadelphia". Heritage Conservation & Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Franklin Court and Ghost Structures". Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia, 1992. Fairmount Park Art Association. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  4. ^ Independence National Historical Park National Register Nomination. National Park Service. 1988. pp. Section 7: Page 52 (pdf 55). Retrieved May 2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ "Franklin Court". The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Public Input Wanted on Proposed Designs for Franklin Court" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  7. ^ Macchio, Melanie (May 12, 2010). "Venturi, Scott Brown's Franklin Court Threatened". Cultural Landscape Foundation. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  8. ^ Lovine, Julie V. (May 7, 2010). "Haunting Franklin's House: Venturi, Scott Brown question plans to alter their Philly masterwork". The Architect's Library: The Architect's Newspaper. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  9. ^ Glusac, Elaine (August 23, 2013 (Print edition: Sept 01, 2013)). "A New Benjamin Franklin Museum". New York Times. p. TR3, NY edition. Retrieved 11 September 2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links

This page was last edited on 15 November 2017, at 21:44
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