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past News – 2005

Latest project news. December 2005

The only remaining elements of conservation are final repair to the walls and ceilings in the original 18th century kitchen in the basement.  Meanwhile, work on Student Science Centre construction continues apace with multimedia installation.  Among the highlights of the latter is recording of most of the audio track for the Historical Experience.  We were honoured to have 2004 Academy Award nominee for Best Actress, Imelda Staunton, play the part of Franklin's friend and landlady, Margaret Stevenson.  She helped bring alive the script written by Pat Lower with Historical Experience designers, Event Communications (the script also received the blessing of Britain's famed Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts).

Benjamin Franklin: Design and Innovation. October 2005

The programme, beginning at 6 pm (registration from 5:30 pm; presentations in the Great Room followed by a buffet dinner in the RSA's Benjamin Franklin Room) will use Franklin as a point of departure to explore the leading edge in science, architecture, and heritage.  Franklin’s life stands in elegant counterpoint: during his London years he explored the Gulf Stream; perfected bifocal lenses; furthered botanical research; investigated hydrodynamics, oxygen and steam engines; championed inoculation and a cure for the common cold; and, among many other things, tested his ideas for the anti-pollution, fuel-efficient Franklin Stove!   Among our distinguished speakers will be Dr. Page Talbott of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary.  Page is Curator of Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World, the major touring exhibition that will open at the new US Constitution Center in Philadelphia in December.  Page will discuss the Tercentenary's 21st century approach to presenting the history of Franklin and his versatile life.  The cost is £45/£25 concessions.  To book, email

Latest conservation news. August 2005

August may have found many Britons away on their summer holidays but it was full steam ahead for Wallis' craftsmen at Benjamin Franklin House. Where previously there were just open rafters, there are now ceilings with plaster prepared in the 18th style with lime and hair! At the top of the House a small wall section of original lathing will be left un-plastered covered by a perspex panel in order to show the original construction. Joinery carpenters have been reassembling 18th century wall panels for the top floors which had laid assunder for many years, piecing them back together like a Georgian jigsaw puzzle. Wiring, the foundation of the House's modern infrastructure, and necessary for all uses of the House has been installed and our paint expert, Patrick Baty, has been advising on the colours of the upper floors as well as the glazing we believe Franklin applied to his first floor parlour to increase the light in a space where he most likely did much of his writing.

Benjamin Franklin House Celebrates US Independence Day. July 2005

The Benjamin Franklin House team had a display at the annual Independence Day celebrations at the US Ambassador's central London residence. With more than 1000 in attendance, it proved a great opportunity to raise awareness of the exciting developments at the House and our upcoming opening.

National Grid Transco Funds Education Officer Post. July 2005

Dr. Maeve Chappell in charge of Communications and Social Policy for leading energy company, National Grid Transco (NGT), has announced NGT will provide a grant of £20,000 to bring a Benjamin Franklin House Education Officer on board! The post is key as the successful candidate will be responsible for further developing our Student Science Centre's vibrant outreach programme aimed at inner-city schools. To find out more, email

Wallis Selected As Primary Contractor. June 2005

After a rigorous tender process, overseen by Benjamin Franklin House Governors Anne Keigher and Ralph Quartano CBE, our Board selected Wallis as primary contractor. Wallis, begun 140 years ago when 36 Craven Street was already an antique, has extensive conservation expertise. They regularly work for English Heritage and Britain's National Trust and recently completed a landmark revitalisation of London's 18th century Christ Church, Spitalfields.

If you would like to be kept informed of developments at the House please email with ‘Mailing List’ in the subject line.

News Archive - 2012

News Archive - 2011

News Archive - 2010

News Archive - 2006

News Archive - 2005

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