2450 Strawberry Mansion Bridge Dr., 215/228-8364
HOURS: Wed.–Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. July–mid-Dec.
COST: $5 adult, $3 senior, $2 child 6–12, and free under 6
Although Strawberry Mansion shares a name with a nearby section of Philadelphia that has been long distressed by poverty and crime, the largest of Fairmount Park’s historic houses knew nothing of urban decay. During its heyday the mansion occupied a rural setting.
Dating to around 1790, it was built for renowned lawyer Judge William Lewis, who’s now best remembered for drafting the United States’ first law abolishing slavery. Lewis built the middle section of the house and the Greek revival–styled wings were added by the next owner, Judge Joseph Hemphill.
It provides visitors with a unique window into the past, with two floors of furniture and decorative arts from the federal, regency, and empire styles, and an attic stuffed with antique toys and a large doll collection.
The name Strawberry Mansion comes from Mrs. Grimes, a resident who sold strawberries and cream from the house in the mid-19th century.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition