September 9, 2016 |
For the first time in nearly a half-century, the Franklin Institute's Budd BB1 Pioneer airplane, a fixture along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, actually moved. It did more than move. This biplane floated - up from its display posts in front of the building. It twirled slowly in the sun about 20 feet in the air, and then gently descended to the ground. Bump. The Budd plane is one of the institute's great artifacts, conceived and manufactured in Philadelphia, and given to the institute by the Budd Manufacturing Co. in 1935, a year after the Parkway building opened.
August 5, 2016
By Paul Halpern Conventional wisdom suggests that Philadelphia is known for wisdom at conventions - particularly the ones that shaped our nation in the 18th century. Visitors flock to the city to see Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Carpenters' Hall, and other places where the Founding Fathers convened to debate the direction of American democracy. The Liberty Bell, perhaps the city's most famous attraction, symbolizes that fledgling era and its emerging freedoms. One of the reasons that the contemporary Democratic convention was set here was to tap into that rich tradition.
August 3, 2016 |
The city has reached an agreement to allow the Franklin Institute to convert a sign on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to digital, officials said Monday. The street-level sign is at 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and is used to promote the museum's exhibits. The proposed conversion has been criticized since the institute applied for a permit in 2012 to update the sign. Opponents argued that allowing a digital sign would negatively impact the Parkway. "This agreement in no way means there will be more electronic signage on the Parkway," Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis said in a statement.
July 1, 2016 |
We're a mobile society. Now even pop-up beer gardens can move, too. Parks on Tap - a new partnership among Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy, and Avram Hornik of FCM Hospitality - sends a mobile beer garden from park to park in the city for 14 weeks, starting Wednesday, June 29. The two trucks - one with regional craft beers, wine, and nonalcoholic drinks, and the other with snacks and sandwiches on a menu created by...
June 19, 2016
SUMMER VACATION is a great time for kids to play in the sand, climb trees, investigate tide pools, and lift rocks in the creek to see what's underneath. There's also plenty else for them to do, from children's concerts and theater to animatronic dinos. - Michael Harrington "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," with the Philadelphia Orchestra (June 23, Mann Center). The 2001 first installment of the boy-wizard franchise screens. Conductor Justin Freer leads the Fabulous Philadelphians in a performance of John Williams' score.
June 6, 2016
With the recent opening of Moore College of Art & Design's juried alumni exhibition, consider the story of the first visual arts college for women in the United States: Moore's antecessor, the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (PSDW). Founded in 1848, PSDW was the first of several such institutions to appear in Boston, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati. However, art for art's sake was not the goal of philanthropist and PSDW founder Sarah Worthington Peter. At the time of the school's inception, thousands of unmarried and widowed women worked from home, which - in the 19th century - did not mean telecommuting in one's pajamas.
May 19, 2016 |
Brennan Poole posed for photos and signed autographs Tuesday morning amid the din of elementary school classes inside the Franklin Institute. The number of auto racing fans in Philadelphia surprised the 25-year-old NASCAR rookie of the year contender. "I think sometimes we forget how many people watch these races," Poole said. "A 10-year-old came up to me and said. 'You should've won Talladega.' That was just really cool. " Poole joined fellow drivers Ty Dillon, Brandon Jones, Ryan Reed and Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. for several events throughout the city to promote the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Pocono Raceway, which is 95 miles from Philadelphia.
May 16, 2016
On April 21, the Franklin Institute held its awards ceremony and dinner. The Franklin Institute Awards is one of the oldest and most prestigious science and technology awards programs in the world, dating to 1824. More than 800 attended the black-tie event at the historic Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia. Guests were treated to cocktails, an awards ceremony, dinner, and a dessert reception in various halls throughout the museum. Benjamin Franklin medals were given in six fields of science and engineering, along with the Bower Awards for Achievement in science and for business leadership.
May 12, 2016 |
IT GOES WITHOUT saying that if your institution is named for Benjamin Franklin, you shouldn't engage in practices that would make America's founding Everyman puke with revulsion on his buckled shoes. So shame on the Franklin Institute for demanding admissions fees for personal-care attendants who must accompany their disabled clients to the museum. And - mwah! - a big, fat kiss to U.S. District Judge Gerald A. McHugh, who just ruled against the institute, which was sued for its nasty, petty, mean-spirited penny-pinching.
May 2, 2016 |
SUSAN GLASSMAN, executive director of the Wagner Free Institute of Science, went to work at the museum two decades ago and met a man who recalled visiting it in the late 1930s or early 1940s, when the technology on display was a tube for a new invention: the television. The Wagner institute has been housed in its Classical Revival-style building on Montgomery Avenue near 17th Street in North Philadelphia for 151 years. But the institute is older. Its founder, William Wagner, a merchant who traveled the world collecting fossils and other specimens, incorporated it in 1855.