PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Franklin Institute reopened to visitors Wednesday with new safety measures in place. Face coverings and no-touch temperature checks will be required for staff and visitors 3 years of age and older.
Some of the museum will be the same as you remember, however, there’s a new exhibit honoring U.S. presidents and this is the only place in the world you can see it.
“We thought this was a great opportunity with an election year coming up to talk about our history, learn more about how science and technology has evolved over time, and really get excited to go out and vote,” Abby Bysshe, with the Franklin Institute, said.
From President George Washington to President Donald Trump and every president in between, it’s “The Presidents By Madame Tussauds” — wax figures of America’s 45 presidents.
“We wanted to put our science and technology spin on the history lesson, but really great snippets of information here from population to what the transportation was in various eras,” Bysshe said.
In addition to the presidents, there are also influential Americans, including activists Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks and, as you might guess, Benjamin Franklin.
This is the first traveling exhibit from Madame Tussauds and the only full collection of presidents that are wax figures.
The exhibit was planned long before the shutdown and they wanted to make sure it was completed for reopening.
“Nevermore in our time is science more important and to do it safely and bring people back to this treasure in this city,” Franklin Institute President Larry Dubinski said.
Social distancing markers now line the front steps fo the institute and once you get inside, you will have your temperature taken with thermal imaging software.
They’re reducing the capacity to just 25% and admission is being timed on an hourly basis.
For the first time, visitors will be able to take advantage of the Science Park in the back of the museum. The 20,000 square foot area was previously only used during student tours.
“We want people to come in, we want them to learn, to have fun,” Dubinski said. “For many people, this is the first time they’re getting out of their home in 115-plus days.”
Important to note, you now have to buy tickets online. You can’t buy them from the box office. Face masks are also required inside.
The institute will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for deep cleaning.