In this yard, now known as Franklin Court, formerly stood the home of Benjamin Franklin. In his later years, Franklin also built three Market Street houses and a Print Shop for his printer-publisher grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache.
Franklin first saw the site at 17, while lodging with the family of his future wife. Deborah Read, in a small house at the front of this lot. Once together, Benjamin and Deborah inherited and acquired the neighboring properties.
By the early 1760's, Franklin contracted with a master carpenter, Robert Smith, to build a large house to stand in a quiet garden deep in the middle of the block.
Franklin left for England while the house was under construction during 1763-65. Tragically, before Benjamin's return to his new home, Deborah had died.
Fortunately for Ben, his daughter Sarah and husband, Richard Bache, had moved into the house, filling it with grandchildren. Returning in 1775, Franklin soon found the house too small; at the age of 81, he added an extension.