The Benjamin Franklin Hotel was the last large hotel constructed in Philadelphia before the Great Depression. Names after founding father and local resident Benjamin Franklin, the 18-story, 1,200-room opened on January 14, 1925. It was developed by Niagara Falls businessman Frank A. Dudley and designed by Horace Trumbauer.
The hotel closed in 1980 and the vacant building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. In 1986, the building was converted into 412 residential units and and renamed Benjamin Franklin House and known by locals as “The Ben.”
During the renovation, portions of the building including the grand ballroom of the hotel was converted into 125,000 sq.ft. of office space. This resulted in objections by the National Park Service, so the ballroom was restored in 1988 to qualify for federal tax credits. One of Philadelphia’s largest ballrooms, “Ballroom at the Ben” is now managed by Finley Catering and used for weddings and other events.
The building was purchased by Korman Associates in 2011. They invested $13 million in renovations and renamed it “The Franklin Residences“.
Apartments include studio, one, and two bedroom luxury units, as well as 90 fully-furnished suites with flexible leases. Features individual washer and dryers, 10-foot ceilings, walk-in closets, 24-hour fitness center, a business lounge, and underground valet parking.
Published by Buffalo Rising