Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Bolt of Lightning: Bad Art

A tall-but-scrawny lightning bolt, kite, and key, held in place by wires, sculpted by Isamu Noguchi in 1984. Officially titled, "Bolt of Lightning: A Memorial to Benjamin Franklin." Critics called it lousy art.

Address:
200 N. 6th St., Philadelphia, PA
Directions:
At the foot of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, just north of Race St. between N. 5th and N. 6th Sts.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Bolt of Lightning: Bad Art

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Bolt of Lightning: Bad Art

This memorial sculpture to Benjamin Franklin was originally conceived and drawn up way back in 1933. It was eventually fabricated and installed in 1984 (What took so long?). If you want to get a close-up look, you'll need to cross four lanes of very busy traffic. Be extra careful! It's known as the ugliest piece of art in town, but we must confess the more we walked around and studied it, the more if sort of grew on us. By the time we left, we actually liked it!

[Mike Gassmann, 11/02/2018]

Lightning art.

Bolt of Lightning: Bad Art

The flag-lined plaza is surrounded by a highway interchange. The art can be seen from the adjacent Franklin Square, which was much more pleasant.

[Adventures Of Cluckleberry Hen, 06/06/2018]

A familiar marvel for drivers racing off the Ben Franklin Bridge into Philly.


Nearby Offbeat Places

Philly Mini GolfPhilly Mini Golf, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.
Peter, Stuffed Eagle of the MintPeter, Stuffed Eagle of the Mint, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.
Benjamin Franklin's GraveBenjamin Franklin's Grave, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Mummers Museum, Philadelphia, PA - 2 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Pennsylvania Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

The Strange Grave of John Milburn Davis, Hiawatha, Kansas (Apr 19-25, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now

 

Favorite Quirky City Sights