Benjamin Franklin House


The Benjamin Franklin House opened in London recently. Franklin lived there from 1757 to 1775.

The house has been painstakingly restored and is devoid of furniture. In the basement, which was once the garden, you are treated to a well-researched and -crafted sound-and-video presentation. The Emmy Award winner Peter Coyote is the voice of Franklin, and Imelda Staunton, the 2004 Oscar nominee for “Vera Drake,” is the voice of Franklin’s landlady.

Next you start a novel experience as you tour the house with an actress dressed in period clothes portraying the landlady’s daughter. She stays in her role throughout the tour and is accompanied by audio and visual images in each room. The drama she emotes is quite impressive.

Franklin’s many and varied experiments and accomplishments are referred to throughout the presentation. Timeout.com quotes, “It’s a short, intense experience.... You’ll come away with a strong sense of the man and the times in which he lived.” That is an accurate description of this attraction.

Take the Charing Cross tube exit for the house at 36 Craven St., London, WC2N 5NF, U.K.; phone, in London, 02078392006 or, from the U.S., 01144 2078392006 or visit www.benjaminfranklinhouse.org.
It’s open Wednesday-Sunday and daily in summer (June-September).

A.J. GOODHEAD
La Jolla, CA