Franklin Institute’s beloved ‘Giant Heart’ is pumping again

John McDevitt
February 14, 2020 - 4:02 pm
Giant Heart at The Franklin Institute

The Franklin Institute


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a beloved exhibit at The Franklin Institute has a new look and sound. 

The giant walk-through heart at the museum has been a favorite for visitors since it was put in place in 1954. It just received a more anatomically correct paint job, both inside and out. The man-made heartbeat has also been replaced with a recording of a heart from a real patient, provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Abigail Bysshe, museum vice president of experiences and business development, said the space around the heart has been revamped into a bioscience center with all sorts of interactive and educational opportunities.

“We added a really cool open-heart surgery video back in the corner there. It’s really gross, but super awesome to watch,” she laughed.

The heart was originally built in 1953 and intended to be a monthslong exhibit, but it quickly became beloved by the community.

“To this day it remains the museum’s most popular exhibit, continually giving new generations of visitors that uniquely memorable experience of walking through the Giant Heart,” said Larry Dubinski, president and CEO of The Franklin Institute, in a statement. “Whether it’s your first or your 15th time walking through the heart, this is a fresh experience that we believe everyone will love.” 

There is alo a modernized dissection area where you can ask questions about the body’s organs, and vividly colored displays about heart anatomy and physiology, personal health and wellness, and public health.