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Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
Fraser's Franklin Statue
Fraser's Franklin Statue
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Coordinates: 39°57′30″N 75°10′23″W / 39.95833°N 75.17306°W / 39.95833; -75.17306Coordinates: 39°57′30″N 75°10′23″W / 39.95833°N 75.17306°W / 39.95833; -75.17306
Area: 107.43 acres (43.48 ha)
Built: 1912
Architect: Multiple
Architectural style(s): Greek Revival
Visitation: 3,638,806 (2005)
Governing body: Franklin Institute
U.S. National Memorial
Designated: October 25, 1972[1]
Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is located in Pennsylvania
Location of Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in Pennsylvania

Benjamin Franklin National Memorial — located in the rotunda of The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — features a colossal seated statue of Benjamin Franklin. The 20-foot (6.1 m) high memorial, sculpted by James Earle Fraser between 1906 and 1911, honors the writer, inventor and American statesman. The statue weighs 30 short tons (27 t) and sits on a 92-short-ton (83 t) pedestal of white Seravezza marble. The statue is the focal piece of the memorial hall, designed by John T. Windrim after the Pantheon, dedicated in 1938.

Congress designated the national memorial on October 25, 1972 (Public Law 92-551). Unlike most national memorials, the statue is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The national memorial is an affiliated area of the National Park Service, assigned to Independence National Historical Park through a Memorandum of Agreement entered into on November 6, 1973. Under the terms of the agreement, the Institute owns and maintains the publicly accessible memorial, and the Park Service includes the memorial in official publications and otherwise cooperates with the Institute in all appropriate and mutually agreeable ways on behalf of the memorial.

Public Law 109-153 (December 30, 2005) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to make available to the Institute up to $10,000,000 in matching grants for the rehabilitation of the memorial and for the development of related exhibits. This appropriation commemorates the 300th anniversary of Franklin's birth on January 17, 1706.[2]

In 2008 the Memorial underwent a $3.8 million dollar restoration that included the installation of a multi-media presentation about Philadelphia's most famous citizen - now featured in the 3 1/2-minute show, Benjamin Franklin Forever. The memorial's new digital projection, theatrical lighting and audio effects are fully utilized in a program that introduces Benjamin Franklin as a curious tinkerer -- and demonstrates his profound impact on the world as a premiere international citizen, statesman, civic leader and scientist. The refurbishment also includes improved acoustics, state-of-the-art LED lighting upgrades and restoring and re-gilding the oculus to its original brilliance. Throughout the day, quotes from Ben Franklin are projected onto the walls, and graphic panels highlighting Franklin's life and accomplishments provide visitors with a still greater appreciation of this Founding Father.

Admission to the National Memorial is free.

The memorial prominently appears in the movie National Treasure.

See also



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