The Powel House
A luxurious mid-Georgian 18th-century mansion
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 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.
Open Thu – Sun
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.
In the neighborhood
Museums & Attractions
321 S. 4th Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Oktoberfest at Brauhaus Schmitz
- Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
- Presbyterian Historical Society Library & Collections
- Penn’s Landing
- Merchant’s Exchange
- PECO Multicultural Series
at Penn’s Landing
- Philly Art Experience
at Bridgette Mayer Gallery
- Polish American Cultural Center
- Old St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining