Fairmount Park HousesMount Pleasant
East Fairmount Park
3800 Mount Pleasant Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19121
This commanding Fairmount Park mansion that has been praised as one of the finest colonial houses north of the Mason-Dixon line, is distinguished by its striking hipped roof, classical adherence to symmetry and balance, and intricate carved woodwork interiors. A National Historic Landmark building, it is considered the most architecturally significant among the 18th-century houses of Fairmount Park. Mount Pleasant was built between 1762 and 1765 by a Scottish sea captain named John Macpherson (1726-1792) and was designed and executed by master carpenter Thomas Nevell (1721-1797), who apprenticed with Independence Hall builder Edmund Woolley (1695-1771). Special installations open visitors’ eyes to little-known aspects of Philadelphia’s past. The furnished rooms focus on Lifestyle, Craftsmanship and Biography, providing useful contexts for the stunning house John Adams once described as “the most elegant seat in Pennsylvania.” Through 18 objects and nearby text panels, visitors to Mount Pleasant will gain a broad understanding of the mansion’s creators and early inhabitants, and of everyday life in Philadelphia during the second half of the 18th century. Mount Pleasant is considered the most distinguished of a gracious group of 18th- and early 19th-century historic houses located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park – one of two administered by the museum – all of them established by wealthy landowners as country seats to provide refuge from the pressures of urban life. Mount Pleasant offers visitors a chance to explore freely this colonial masterpiece, and experience views of the adjacent land and the Schuylkill river.
West Fairmount Park
1 Cedar Grove Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19131 The Museum also administers Cedar Grove, one of the oldest houses (1748) open to the public in Fairmount Park. The native grey stone house served as home to five generations of the same Quaker family, the Paschalls and the Morrisses, who came to America at the time of William Penn (1644-1718). Cedar Grove contains an extensive collection of of original family furnishings and decorative arts providing a rare opportunity to see furniture from early Pennsylvania through Neoclassical styles and a wide range of household articles displayed in their own historic context.
Hours and Admission
These two historic houses are open to the public year round, Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission for self-guided tours is $3 per person and is payable at the door of each house. Maps are available at the information desk in the West Entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.