Friends of Benjamin Franklin House

Conservation of 36 Craven Street

Our aim is continued conservation of 36 Craven Street, a Grade I listed Georgian building, the world’s only remaining Franklin home, built circa 1730, as a dynamic museum and educational facility.

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    Category

  • Arts/Culture/HeritageArts/Culture/Heritage

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  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
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Location

Situation

For nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775, Benjamin Franklin – scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor, US Founding Father and more – called 36 Craven Street home. Following a comprehensive conservation project, Benjamin Franklin House opened to the public on Franklin’s 300th birthday in January 2006 as an exciting museum and education centre. The excellence of the conservation has been cited in national and international press and was commended by the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Georgian Society. We were the first site outside the US to receive a Save America’s Treasures designation for the historical and cultural importance of the building and are an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) milestone location. In preserving this precious heritage asset we followed these conservation principles: minimising the extent of repair work, retaining original material, using traditional methods and materials wherever possible, and providing long-term repairs. These values remain paramount in all further work carried out at Benjamin Franklin House. Since opening to the public, the House has welcomed over 20,000 visitors – more than in the building’s entire history. Such access is key for the fulfillment of our educational aims, but has led to wear on historical fixtures and fittings. It is thus essential that we perform ongoing conservation and maintenance to preserve the building for the benefit of future generations. Support would allow us to undertake conservation projects including repair of the 18th century staircase, restoration of the weather-exposed external courtyard, and additional damp proofing in the basement.

Solution