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Powel House

A luxurious mid-Georgian 18th-century mansion

Powel House

Once the home of Elizabeth and Samuel Powel, an 18th-century power couple, the Powel House simply drips elegance. Credit: Photo courtesy Independence Visitor Center



Once the home of Elizabeth and Samuel Powel, an 18th-century power couple, this mansion simply drips elegance.

As friends of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and George Washington (the Washingtons celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary at the house), the Powels entertained in style, and the house shows it.

Furnished with museum-quality clocks, portraits and other treasures, it is among the nation’s best-preserved examples of Georgian architecture.

The home was one of the first to have a dining parlor, beyond which only the closest family friends could pass into the Powels’ private rooms.

Don’t miss the letter Washington wrote following a particularly pleasant evening with the Powels, the china Martha Washington presented to Elizabeth or the elegant formal gardens, a quiet sanctuary in the city.


Although no battles were fought in Philadelphia, the British took over the city and, in some cases, the homes of the city’s citizens. British soldiers occupied the Powels’ home and the man who was once mayor of the city under King George was relegated to living in his servants’ quarters. Today, our Fourth Amendment protects us from such occupation.

Insider Tip

How influential were the Powels? In 1787, delegates to the Constitutional Convention worked on the Constitution at Independence Hall by day. But in the evenings, they often gathered at the Powels’ home to work out details of this new form of government.

More Information

For more information on Powel House, which is owned and operated by the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks (PhilaLandmarks), click the button below.

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