River Street is Wilkes-Barre's front porch, but Franklin Street (named not for Benjamin but for John Franklin, a rebel leader of the Connecticut settlers who was tried for treason for preaching against the 1787 accord that ended Connecticut's claims to northern Pennsylvania) is its civic showpiece. Even today, the towers of Franklin Street comprise one of Pennsylvania's finest cityscapes. Here, within easy walking distance of their mansions and offices, the “anthracite aristocracy” built their institutions: Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches; fraternal and city clubs for business and recreation; and a museum to honor their ancestors. A miniature Wilkes-Barre history of world architecture can be seen along Franklin Street.
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