In the heart of London stands the Benjamin Franklin House, the home where he lived between 1757 and 1775.
Built circa 1730, the terraced Georgian edifice at 36 Craven Street is the only surviving former residence of one of America’s most famous Founding Fathers. Today it is a vibrant museum and educational facility that features his beloved scientific discoveries, from lightning rods to hydrodynamics.
The top floor is the Robert H. Smith Scholarship Centre, which focuses on historical documents including the Papers of Benjamin Franklin, which are sponsored by The American Philosophical Society and Yale University.
What savvy governing agreements was Franklin working out while in London to benefit the United States? Who helped to preserve the c. 1730 residence? Which famous dignitaries have visited the museum in recent years? And what happened to Franklin’s famous home and shop in Philadelphia?
Scroll down for our Q&A with Márcia Balisciano, founding director of the Benjamin Franklin House. She is also the director of corporate responsibility for the global media group Reed Elsevier; previously, she served as adviser to the American Chamber of Commerce in Britain, and to the documentary film project “50 Lessons.”
One of 28 international women featured in a book and exhibition for the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, she is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Economic History from the London School of Economics. Balisciano was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours List.
Here’s to bringing history to life! — David Bruce Smith, founder, and Hope Katz Gibbs, executive producer, the Grateful American™ Foundation