Powel House

Powel House

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Powel House

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Powel House is a historic mansion in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. This elegant Georgian brick mansion was built in 1765 by merchant and shipmaster Charles Stedman. When Stedman fell on financial difficulties (eventually winding up in debtors' prison), the house was purchased for £3,150 on August 2, 1769 by Samuel Powel, who served as the last mayor of Philadelphia under British rule and became the city's first mayor after the Revolution. Powel was later dubbed the "Patriot Mayor." He and his wife Elizabeth (née Willing) were well known for their hospitality and frequently entertained such notable guests as George and Martha 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 of Art. Little more than a shell, the building was slated for demolition, with the site planned to be used for a parking lot. After learning of the imminent demolition, Frances Wister formed The Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks and raised sufficient funds to purchase the property in 1931. Over the next decade, Wister and the Society restored the house to its appearance during Powel's residency, interpreting the daily...
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