One of Philadelphia´s newest historic attractions is also one of its oldest.
Franklin Square, one of the five public squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan for the city, has undergone a dramatic renovation.
The park now boasts several all new, family-friendly attractions, including a miniature golf course, a classic carousel, storytelling benches, a picnic area and more.
At Philly Mini Golf, an 18-hole miniature golf course decorated with some of Philadelphia´s favorite icons, play a round of putt-putt and learn a little history at the same time.
Close your eyes and take a nostalgic ride on the Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel, a classic tribute to Philadelphia´s great heritage of carousel-making. It´s sure to be a instant kid favorite.
Then catch up on your history at one of the storytelling benches located throughout the park, where you can hear tales of Franklin Square´s past, or learn about the many communities touched by the Square, courtesy of the friendly storytellers of Once Upon a Nation.
And emanating from the corners of the historic park, four new herringbone brick walking paths with nighttime lighting bring even more charm to the Square after dark. The paths lead to the centerpiece of the Square, the Franklin Square Fountain, a marble masterpiece built in 1838 surrounded by wrought iron fences, which is currently still going under cosmetic restoration.
Originally named “North East Publick Square,” the 7.5-acre green is one of five original squares that William Penn laid out in his original plan of the city in 1682. The Square was renamed in honor of Benjamin Franklin in 1825.
Over the years, the area has been used as a cattle pasture, a horse and cattle market, a burial ground, a drill and parade ground for the American military during the War of 1812 and, finally, a city park.
In 1837, the city made Franklin Square into a public park and an elegant fountain was constructed in its center, a fountain thought to be the oldest surviving fountain in William Penn´s five historic squares. The others are Rittenhouse, Washington, Logan and Center Square, where City Hall is now located.
Just in time for summer, Franklin Square has opened SquareBurger, a Stephen Starr-run “burger shack” selling summer staples: hot dogs, fries, milkshakes (made with Tasty Kakes) and, of course, hamburgers and cheeseburgers.
SquareBurger is open until October – perfect for a couple bites between rounds of miniature golf!