Powel House

Haunted Philadelphia - Copy

Powel House

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, United States

Created By: PocketSights

Point of Interest Details


Built in 1765 by merchant and businessman Charles Stedman, this elegant Georgian brick mansion was purchased by Samuel Powel in 1769 at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Willing. Samuel Powel, an important, educated man who had toured the Continent for seven years before settling down, served as the last mayor of Philadelphia under the Crown and was the first mayor of the city after the creation of the United States. Mayor Powel was later dubbed the "Patriot Mayor". Mayor Powel and his wife were well known for their hospitality and frequently entertained such notable guests as George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, and the Marquis de Lafayette.

During the early 20th century, the house served as a warehouse and office for a business that imported and exported Russian and Siberian horse hair and bristles. The owners had sold much of the interior architectural detail to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum. Little more than a shell, the building was slated for demolition and the site to be used for a parking lot. After learning of the imminent demolition, Miss Frances Wister formed The Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks (Landmarks) and raised sufficient funds to purchase the property in 1931. Over the next decade, Miss Wister and Landmarks restored the house to its appearance during Samuel Powel's residency, interpreting the daily lives of wealthy Philadelphians at the time of the American Revolution.

Today, visitors can stroll through the room where the Washingtons danced on their wedding anniversary, ponder the sumptuous meals served in the Powels' dining room, sit the parlor where political ideas were debated over tea and Madeira wine, and relax in the elegant colonial garden.


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The Powel House is located half a block southeast of Independence National Historical Park, in the heart of Society Hill.

244 South Third Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106



February 25 - December 31: Tours are given Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12-4 p.m., Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

January 1 - February 26: Tours by appointment only

Groups of 10 or more may tour the house by appointment. School groups should contact the Landmarks Education Coordinator via email at education@philalandmarks.org, or by calling 215-925-2251, extension 5.

NOTE: Tours and open hours may be limited due to special events. Please call 215-627-0364 to check availability.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Haunted Philadelphia - Copy


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