enjamin Franklin House More Recent History
While Benjamin Franklin was the most famous resident of 36 Craven Street, the Franklin connection has attracted many famous visitors to the House over the years including Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Senator George Mitchell, Dame Judi Dench, Sir David Frost, and Jon Bon Jovi!
Though built as a lodging house, in the 20th century the building was used as a hotel and a base for several non-profit groups. By the end of the century, when the Friends of Benjamin Franklin House were granted the freehold to 36 Craven Street from the British government, the property was in dire condition. The management team and numerous organisations and volunteers worked tirelessly to realise a dynamic museum and educational facility highlighting the timeless relevance of Benjamin Franklin and the tumultuous times in which he lived.
The public now have access to a Grade I Georgian building, remarkable for its simplicity and original features, including a single staircase that links all floors of the House (which Franklin says he traversed for exercise!), featuring balustrades, three to a tread, with cut strings and curved brackets. It is a 'work-a-day' building of early 18th century construction with fielded panels, molded cornices, integral shutters, and more. Read more about the history of Craven Street.