great places to visit off the beaten path.
History: From 1757 to 1775 Dr Benjamin Franklin – scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor, Founding Father of the United States and more – lived here in the west end. The house was built circa 1730 and has since been converted into an unusual museum and educational facility. When Dr. Franklin lived at 36 Craven Street he was working to mediate the growing political and economic disputes between the colonies of America and Great Britain. In addition, he also served as Deputy Postmaster for the Colonies; pursued his love of science (including exploring bifocal spectacles – a correct tie-in in the film “National Treasure”); explored health (innoculation, air baths, cures for the common cold); music (inventing the glass armonica from which Mozart, Bach and Beethoven composed) and letters (articles, epitaphs, and his witty Craven Street Gazette), all while forging a hearty social life and close friendships with leading figures of the day.
Tours: The rooms are sparsely decorated as the tour relies on an audio / visual approach. Costumed, period actors combined with media sounds and images provide a unique tour experience. Collectively they effectively present insight into Dr. Franklin’s work and London during his time of residency.
There are other periodic tours including one focusing on architecture and another that happens at night. Tickets are required due to space limitations. They can and should be prebooked. Check their website for hours and costs: www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org (photo credit source)
Located: 36 Craven Street, W2.
Closest tube: Embankment or Charing Cross)