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Benjamin Franklin in Fireman's Hat - Philadelphia, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 57.145 W 075° 08.787
18S E 487490 N 4422486
Quick Description: There are countless Franklin sites, memorials and sculptures in Old City Philadelphia, but none so hidden in plain site as this beautiful gem, attached to the front of a local fire station on a brick wall.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 11/11/2011 6:39:58 AM
Waymark Code: WMD2VA
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cache_test_dummies
Views: 2

Long Description:

The sculpture is often overlooked & seldom recognized. The SIRIS site & our local Phila. Public Art site have cataloged it. The site is also identified in our Independence Mall tour. There are several other Franklin statues near this one. The SIRIS site describes the sculpture as a bas-relief head of Ben Franklin, in left profile, wearing a fireman's hat. The hat is decorated w/ an eagle, a fire truck, & an inscription. The relief is mounted to a wall six feet above the ground. SOURCE The is publicly accessible & can be seen from the sidewalk or from the street if driving by in a car.

The context of a fireman's hat is lost on most people but entirely appropriate. Franklin first suggested Philadelphia should have fire-fighting clubs modeled after the ones in Boston. After writing about it in the Gazette and discussing it with members of the Junto, he organized the Union Fire Company, which was incorporated in 1736. Soon fire companies and clubs sprang up all over Philadelphia and most of the city fell under the protection of one or another of the companies—yet another civic improvement brought to us by the work of Benjamin Franklin. SOURCE

The sculpture was initiated by Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia. The fire station where the sculpture is installed is also known as the Independence Mall firestation. Text on wall next to relief reads: The text on wall next to relief reads: Engine 8/Ladder 2. The inscription on the front reads 1968 Dexter Jones (On front of fireman's hat:) UNION/FIRE CO. The piece was sculpted by Dexter Jones in 1968 and was dedicated in 1972. The sculpture is made of aluminum and is approximately 39 x 31 x 7 inches. The Franklin is located at a Philadelphia Fire Station, Engine #8, Ladder #2, at 4th & Arch Streets, on the brick wall to the immediate right and to the immediate left of the Girard Fountain Park.

Location Type: Portrait/Statue

Reference Web Site: [Web Link]

Established Date: 1/1/1972

Property Type: Public

Fee required: no

Location Notes:
Free. Side of road on a brick building. park on the side of the road or walk on the sidewalk.


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