Historic Houses and Gardens
Unfold stories hidden among the streets of Philadelphia's oldest neighborhoods and experience history in a new way by visiting the homes and gardens of some of the most pivotal figures of the Revolutionary generation.
Betsy Ross House
Visit the purported house of Betsy Ross on a self-guided tour that takes you through various rooms of the Colonial Era. Various artifacts from the Ross family are on display throughout the house, and some visits may even encounter Betsy Ross herself.
Located in Old City and the nation's oldest residential street, the neighborhood features upwards of 30 homes from the time of the country's founding. While it is still a public street, The Museum of Elfreth's Alley is open for visitors to learn about the street's history and architecture.
The home of Dr. Philip Syng Physick tells a colorful story through its period rooms and gardens. The late 1700's home is now the only free standing Federal townhouse in Society Hill, with four stories of period rooms and a larger than normal garden available for guests to tour.
Dr. Physick became known as one of the most successful physician of his time due to his own inventions of surgical tools, treatment of famous American icons such as Dolly Madison, and even creation of the original American soda.
While the Georgian home was built in 1765, its second owners gave it its name. Samuel and Elizabeth Powel famously held audiences for notable figures of the American Revolution in the lavishly decorated home. Now it's home to a museum for Colonial Revivalism and offers tours for those who wish to visit the elegant rooms and gardens.
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
The home of the Polish Patriot and later famous figure of the American Revolution now commemorates his life through a public museum. Visitors can explore his successful military career in the exhibitions, see several artifacts from the American Revolution, and even read about famous visitors. The house is open April-October on the weekends but requires no reservations.
Cliveden of the National Trust
A historic mansion located in Germantown and built between 1763-1767 as well as the site to the Battle of Germantown. The National Historic Landmark offers walk-in tours as well as tours by appointments for groups.
Grumblethorpe House and Gardens
The home of Philadelphian merchant John Wister, this historic house of PhilaLandmarks offers guests a glimpse of colonial life from a family that has left their mark from horticultural development to detailed accounts of the British Occupation of their home where several notable events from the Revolutionary War occurred, including the murder of General Agnew and the Battle of Germantown.
The country home of colonial Mayor and Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, James Logan. Now a historic house museum, visitors are invited to come see early Georgian architecture and learn about the life of Philadelphia's impactful Logan family.
Woodford is one of the most elegant survivors of the early “summer retreats” that were built along the Schuylkill River during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century by Philadelphia’s well-to-do. Today, Woodford — a National Historic Landmark — is owned by the Fairmount Park Commission and operated by the Naomi Wood Trust.
Wyck is a National Historic Landmark house, garden, and farm in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia that served as the ancestral home to one Philadelphia family for nine generations (1690-1973).
Known as the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America, the 45-acre National Historic Landmark is free to the public with tours running from April-October. The garden also boasts a ball field, picnic areas, boat docks, and a playground.
Regional Historic Houses
For a break from city life, take a short trip to these historic houses of the region. These homes of the Colonial period can take you not only out of the city, but back in time.
This Georgian lodge was built by successful Quaker businessman Samuel Morris between 1743 and 1748. The lodge itself offers tours on the third Sunday of each month at certain times now through October 16th.
Located in Montgomery County, this 1700's Georgian home was built by Pottstown founder, John Potts. Visitors are invited to tour the house and grounds to see how the colonial ironmaster's family, as well as his slaves, would have lived back then.
A 42-acre historic house site that includes several notable highlights but is most known for the Keith House, the only surviving residence of a colonial Pennsylvania Governor. Nature trails, house tours, and picnic areas are just some of the things visitors can experience at Graeme Park.
The 1704 home of several residents including Charles Thomson, the secretary of the Continental Congress. Today the public can visit to participate in the numerous cultural and educational programs held on its grounds.
The Speaker's House
A museum devoted to preserving the house of Frederick Muhlenberg. While tours are available by appointment, the house also offers special events from farmers stands to "tavern nights".
Germantown White House
A National Park Service site that interprets the historic house where George Washington resided twice. Once was to escape the Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia during 1793 and again as a summer retreat in 1794. The house now offers exhibitions and tours that explore what daily life may have been for everyone at the house.