Editorial: Franklin Court

Publication: The Philadelphia Inquirer

12/18/2008 - Ever-inventive Benjamin Franklin understood the simple ingenuity of using a bucket to catch rainwater. So maybe he would have appreciated employing that make-do approach to handle leaks at Philadelphia's bicentennial-era museum named in his honor.

But it's a short-term solution to one of the Franklin Court museum's myriad maintenance woes, and commendable only if it helps buy time to rescue the Old City facility from years of neglect and decline.

Franklin Court needs to be updated from stem to stern. After three decades of heavy visitor traffic, the museum is more an embarrassment than a tribute to the famous Philadelphian's memory.

As a recent tour illustrated, the National Park Service museum's exhibits are dated and worn, some darkened. But a planned $18 million transformation would again make the museum a must-see attraction, with re-created rooms from Franklin's house, a gift shop, and cafe.

Read the full editorial Franklin Court on the Philadelphia Inquirer's Web site.

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