Franklin Court Underground Museum

Useful Information

Location: Philadelphia City Center.
From South: I-95 north, exit onto 6th Street south to the underground parking garage entrance between Arch and Market Streets.
From West: PA Turnpike (I-76) exit at interchange 24, then Schuykill Expressway (I-76) to I-676 exit, Central Philadelphia (left lane exit), 8th Street exit, follow the signs for Independence Hall.
From North: N.J. Turnpike, exit 4, Rt. 73 north, Rt. 38 west, US 30 west over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. At the base of the bridge follow the signs for 6th Street. Take 6th Street south.
Open: All year daily 9-17. Closed 25-DEC. [2007]
Fee: free [2007]
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Light: elelctric
Guided tours:
Address: Franklin Court Underground Museum, Franklin Court, Independence National Historic Park, Philadelphia PA, Tel: (215) 965-2305.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



Franklin Court Underground Museum is, as the name suggets, an underground museum located beneath Franklin Court. Franklin Court is dedicated to Benjamin Franklin, the great printer, diplomat, inventor, publisher, author, statesman, and postmaster. His house once stood here, it was three stories high, covered 33 feet square, and had ten rooms. But it was destroyed in 1812, and today there is only metal frame, which is a sort of monument for the house. There is also the United States Postal Service Museum (314 Market Street), the Post Office (316 Market Street), the Printing Office And Bindery (320 Market Street), and the General Advertiser (322 Market Street).

The Franklin Court Underground Museum contains paintings, objects, and inventions associated with Franklin. There is a reproduction of Franklin's Armonica, also called a glass harmonica. A set of graduated glass bowls on a rotating shaft produce tones when a finger is pressed to the moistened rim. It was invented by Franklin, and was very famous, even Mozart wrote a piece just for Franklin's new instrument. Other invention shown are a Franklin stove and a swim fin.

It seems, the museum is underground by no special reason, except maybe, that there was some room available. At least it is a good place to see the 18 min long film about Franklin which is very informative.