Distinctive Destinations

Powel House exterior

photo by: Powel House

Powel House

  • Address 244 South Third Street
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
  • Hours
    11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
    12:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
  • Phone 215-627-0364

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One of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the United States, Powel House was built in 1765 by merchant and businessman Charles Stedman. Purchased by the Powels in 1769, it would soon serve as the site of wife Elizabeth Willing Powel’s lavish meals for the political elite. She also acted as one of George Washington’s closest confidants during his presidency. Her husband, Samuel, (despite his nickname "Patriot Mayor") took a different approach to independence. He signed the Oath of Allegiance days before the British withdrew their troops from occupied Philadelphia.

As the neighborhood around it deteriorated and industrialized, Powel House also fell on hard times. By the turn of the 19th century, the property was used for manufacturing and warehousing by owner Wolf Klebanksy. In 1931, under threat of demolition, the house became the flagship property for the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. Later restored and opened as a museum dedicated to Colonial Revivalism, it played an integral role in Society Hill's redevelopment into one of the nation’s premier heritage neighborhoods, just blocks from Independence Hall.

Famous visitors during the Powel residency included George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, the Marquis de Lafayette, and John Adams, who described his enjoyment of a "most sinful feast" after one notable visit.

For winter hours or to schedule a tour, please visit the Powel House website.

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