By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
A complex renovation project at Philadelphia’s Franklin Court located in the historic Old City neighborhood was announced last week by the National Park Service. Totaling $21 million, the renovations are scheduled to complete in 18 months, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The property (where Benjamin Franklin’s three-story brick home formerly stood) was turned into a museum in 1976 in advance of the nation’s bicentennial. The site currently includes a Post Office and a “ghost house” similar to the one that Franklin used to live in; both of these will remain open to the public during the construction. Under the new plans, the property’s name will be changed to the Benjamin Franklin Museum, says the Journal.
The renovation is funded by a public-private partnership between the National Park Service, Pew Charitable Trusts, philanthropist Gerry Lenfest, the William Lenn Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Independence Visitor Center. The construction work itself is estimated to cost $9.54 million and will be handled by Narberth-based developer Daniel J. Keating Co. Another $4.7 million will be invested in exhibits that will be created by Maltbie, headquartered in Mount laurel, N.J., which has also created exhibits for Philadelphia’s Chemical Heritage Museum.
Photo by K. Clappa, Once Upon a Nation