Squares in Philadelphia
In the late 17th century, William Penn planned the creation of five open public parks in central Philadelphia. These original squares include:
- Centre Square (became the site of City Hall)
- North East Publick Square (renamed Franklin Square)
- Northwest Square (renamed Logan Square)
- Southwest Square (renamed Rittenhouse Square)
- Southeast Square (renamed Washington Square)
North East Publick Square
This square is located directionally northeast from what was previously Centre Square (now City Hall), and was originally used for grazing animals, military training activity and armament storage. North East Publick Square was renamed Franklin Square in 1825 in honor of founding father Benjamin Franklin, who is fabled to have conducted his famous experiment involving the use of a kite and key in the discovery of electricity while in the Square. The square is also located only blocks away from the famous Independence National Historical Park landmarks.
Bolt of Lightning
While it is not known the exact location where Franklin performed his famed experiment, Isamu Noguchi designed a large sculpture named Bolt of Lightning, which commemorates Franklin’s contributions to science and our modern understanding of electricity. The stainless steel art piece was erected in 1984 and faces the square on 6th Street.
Franklin Square Re-dedication
In 2006, Historic Philadelphia, Inc., a non-profit organization, rededicated the park, now complete with several enjoyable family-friendly features, including the Parx Liberty Carousel, playgrounds and Philly Mini Golf. The 19th-century Franklin Square Fountain was restored and its workings were upgraded to modern technology. Visitors can now enjoy a tasty meal at SquareBurger, celebrate birthdays and special events or just enjoy the beautiful setting of Franklin Square.
Spooky Mini Golf
October 3 - 31, 6 - 9 pm
(Fri. - Sun.)
Philly Mini Golf is transformed with spooky fun for the season with fog, lights, music, and spooky surprises! Tickets: $9 adults, $7 children 3 - 12
October 25, Noon - 3 pm
Make your very own Trick-or-Treat bag and follow the Trick-or-Treat Trail map throughout Franklin Square to find Halloween treats! FREE for children under 10.
Wednesday October 29, 7 -8 pm
Pop Up Yoga Philly's Twilight Yoga series returns to Franklin Square for three additional fall dates!
You Might Be Interested In...
Pictures from the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show
We sing. We toast. We drink! Cheers to the spirits of '76 on this Colonial pub crawl. Join us for a Thursday evening romp through Historic Philadelphia with appetizers and drinks!
Experience a 360-degree 3D journey through the symbols of our nation’s freedom.
Plan your group trip to Historic Philadelphia with unique experiences from the Betsy Ross House, Franklin Square, Lights of Liberty, and Once Upon A Nation! From interactive Storytelling tours and Philadelphia-themed mini golf to performances by historic reenactors and dazzling 360 shows, it's all listed right here!