1 Sweetbriar Dr., 215/222-1333
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
Samuel Breck, a Boston-born merchant, built his country estate overlooking the Schuylkill in 1797. He chose the neoclassical style, rather than the then-dominant Georgian, for its design and furniture, installing an entryway colonnade, large Italianate windows, and a stairway with a balcony.
Breck hosted fabulous salons and dinners, and entertained such luminaries as Lafayette and Tallyrand. He also kept thorough diaries detailing the life of Philadelphia  in the post-Revolutionary period.
Though [Sweetbriar, along with other “country estates,” was built in part for its owners to escape the epidemics sweeping the city proper, Breck’s own daughter died of typhoid. Today, as part of Fairmount Park, the house holds arts and crafts, a significant library, and architectural and artistic details like the elegant “Etruscan” room.