Benjamin Franklin Memorial
The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is located in our rotunda. The centerpiece of the memorial is a dramatic 20-foot-high marble statue of Benjamin Franklin. Sculpted by James Earle Fraser, the statue is crafted of white Seravezza marble and weighs 30 tons. It sits on a 92-ton pedestal of Rose Aurora veined marble from Portugal. Originally opened in 1938, the rotunda was designed by architect John T. Windrim and modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. It measures 82 feet in length, width, and height. The domed ceiling is self-supporting and weighs 1600 tons. The floors, walls, columns, pilasters, and cornices are made of rare marbles from Portugal, Italy, and France. In 1972, the Memorial was designated by the United States Congress as the official national memorial to Benjamin Franklin and was formally dedicated by then Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller on April 12, 1976.
The Memorial is open to the public at all times when The Franklin Institute is open, and no admission fee is required.