The Mansions of Fairmount Park in Philadelphia
Nov 29, 2007Public
Photo: 1. Lemon Hill. Poorly lit facade included for the sake of completeness. 
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation maintains an informative website about the mansions:  The Charms of Fairmount Park.
Photo: 1.a. Lemon Hill. Henry Pratt, Philadelphia merchant built this stately summer villa in 1800 on property formerly owned by financier Robert Morris. The neoclassical style features oval rooms with curved doors. The back side of the house is better lit in the afternoon.
Photo: 1.b. Lemon Hill. The name comes from the lemon trees grown in a greenhouse built by Robert Morris. The property is administered by the Colonial Dames of America, Chapter XI.
Photo: 2.a. Mount Pleasant.  Captain John Macpherson, privateer and patriot, established Mount Pleasant between 1762 and 1765. It is administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Photo: 2.b. Mount Pleasant. In 1775 John Adams described Mount Pleasant as "the most elegant seat in Pennsylvania." It features grand classical architecture, stunning interiors and vistas, and the best craftsmanship of colonial Philadelphia.
Photo: 2.c. Mount Pleasant. Capt. Macpherson employed Thomas Nevell, an apprentice of the builder of Independence Hall as his master builder.
Photo: 2.d. Mount Pleasant.  The Palladian window above the doorway reminds one of Edmund Wooley's Independence Hall.
Photo: 2.e. Mount Pleasant.  Philadelphia's dry autumn left many colorful leaves on trees throughout the city.
Photo: 2.f. Mount Pleasant. The small houses beside the mansion might have housed guests, servants, or both.
Photo: 2.g. Mount Pleasant. One of two similar classic sculptures on the back lawn.
Photo: 2.h. Mount Pleasant. One of the small side houses near the entrance drive and parking lot.
Photo: 3.a. Laurel Hill. Rebecca Rawle, a wealthy Loyalist widow, built this small country house in the Georgian style around 1767.
Photo: 3.a2. Laurel Hill. Another view of the facade.
Photo: 3.b. Laurel Hill. Rebecca lost her house during the Revolution when the state seized property of British sympathizers. Later, she regained her property.
Photo: 3.c. Laurel Hill. An octagonal room, added early in the 19th c. is a special feature of the house. It is frequently used for chamber concerts.
Photo: 3.d. Laurel Hill. View of a rower in a single shell on the Schuylkill River from the back lawn of Laurel Hill. The villa, administrated by the Women of Greater Philadelphia, is not far from Boat House Row.
Photo: 3.e. Laurel Hill. Also visible from the back lawn is Strawberry Mansion Bridge.
Photo: 4. Woodford. The facade of the house faces Ridge Avenue (US 13), an important and busy thoroughfare.
Photo: 4.a. Woodford. William Coleman, friend of Benjamin Franklin, built this elegant summer retreat from 1756 to 1758.
Photo: 4.b. Woodford. This view of the side of the house shows two windows on a diagonal line. The windows probably illuminate an interior stairway.
Photo: 4.c. Woodford. The dark facade above belies the depth and spaciousness of the house furnished with an extraordinary collection of 18th c. antiques begun by Naomi Wood, a Philadelphia collector.
Photo: 4.d. Woodford. The Georgian-style house contains an impressive display of period furniture and decorative arts, including Delftware. It is ably administered by the Naomi Wood Trust.
Photo: 5.a. Strawberry Mansion. Formerly known as "Summerville," the center section was built around 1790 in the Federal style by Judge William Lewis.
Photo: 5.b. Strawberry Mansion. Judge Joseph Hemphill, the mansion's second owner, added the Greek Revival wings during the 1820's.