1981 by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen
Another 1% commission (thanks to Philadelphia’s Percent for Art Program) gave Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, his wife and collaborator, a chance to design a sculpture for the University of Pennsylvania.
Knowing that Ben Franklin had founded the university, and noticing that a nearby statue depicted him as somewhat plump, they imagined that Ben had popped a button.
The button would have fallen to the ground and been broken by students’ feet. Thus the sculptors created a massive aluminum “split” button for the plaza in front of the main library.
Split Button has become a landmark and popular meeting point on the Penn campus. Students often lounge on it to relax.
In the neighborhood
Museums & Attractions
220 South 34th Street Philadelphia, PA 19104
- Leonard Pearlstein Gallery at Drexel University
- Bulletin Building
- EKG Exhibition Space
- The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
- Penn Museum
- The Awesome Fest
- Addams Gallery
- Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
- The Drexel Collection
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Restaurants & Dining
3180 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
- The Porch at 30th Street Station
- Landmark Americana
- Mad Mex
- Penne Restaurant & Wine Bar
- Slainté Pub & Grill
- Han-Wool Restaurant
- Doc Macgrogan’s Oyster House
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