Historic Franklin Preservation Association
Preserving the Architectural Heritage of Franklin, Pennsylvania
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International Style - Franklin City Hall 430 13th. Street

To the casual observer the Franklin City Hall is just a ho-hum modern building. But Franklin’s International Style City Hall is actually a contemporary version of Classical architecture. Think of the Parthenon in Athens with its rows of white columns and low pitched roof.

Here the pitched roof has been removed in favor of the more streamlined flat roof and it has been extended far beyond the sides of the building. This emphasizes its power in the same way that the public buildings in Washington, DC use the Classical Style to display the power and majesty of Government.

In Franklin’s City Hall the structure itself is ornamental. Ordinarily in the International Style we would see large flat expanses of glass and walls, but here the large expanses of glass have become voids, broken up into vertical slices that reinforce the verticality of the building and strongly imitate the voids between the columns. Our City Hall’s structure has been separated and pushed forward in the image of the columns of Classical Greece. The Franklin City Hall is a variation on the most famous of all civic buildings.