3800 Mount Pleasant Dr., 215/763-8100
HOURS: Tues.–Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
COST: $5 adult, $3 senior, $2 child 6–12, and free under 6
When future president John Adams once declared Mount Pleasant to be “the most elegant seat in Pennsylvania,” he was validating its owners’ ambitions. Built 1762–1765 by Scottish ship captain John Macphearson and his wife, Margaret, the house was intended to make a grand statement with its exquisite architecture and its site high above the Schuylkill River.
Architect Thomas Neville, a protégé of Independence Hall architect Edmund Woolley, designed Mount Pleasant in an interesting Scottish interpretation of the then-current Georgian style. Among its many noteworthy owners were national traitor Benedict Arnold and Jonathan Williams, a great nephew of Benjamin Franklin and the first superintendent of West Point.
Later, after becoming part of Fairmount Park, it served as a dairy farm. It is currently displayed unfurnished, so visitors can see the materials and architecture of the house directly, but no period furniture.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition