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Powel House, Philadelphia

The Powel House is a historic house museum located at 244 South 3rd Street, between Willings Alley and Spruce Street, in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Built in 1765 in the Georgian style, and embellished by second owner Samuel Powel (1738–1793), it has been called "the finest Georgian row house in the city." As with other houses of this type, the exterior facade was, but the interior was elaborately appointed.HistoryThe elegant brick city house was built for Charles Stedman, a merchant and shipmaster. Before he had the chance to live in it, Stedman fell into financial trouble – eventually winding up in debtors' prison. The house was purchased for £3,150 on August 2, 1769 by Samuel Powel, who would become the last mayor of Philadelphia under British rule and the city's first mayor following independence. A Quaker who converted to Anglicanism, he supported the American Revolution and was dubbed the "Patriot Mayor."The building is attributed to architect/builder Robert Smith. Powel and his wife Elizabeth (née Willing) lavishly redecorated, creating some of the most ornate interiors in the Colonies. The Rococo plastered ceilings are attributed to James Clow, and the architectural woodwork is attributed to carvers Hercules Courtnay and Martin Jugiez.
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Powel House Reviews
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  • We visited this historic house on recommendation from our concierge, Doc, at the Hilton at Penn's Landing and happy we did. Powell house is about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. We took the tour with...  more »
  • When you visit Philadelphia, be sure to go "beyond the bell," and visit important sites such as the Powel House. The Powels were well-connected and at the center of the circle of the Revolutionary Eli...  more »
  • We visited the Powel House during a period that they were having some type of play during the evening. So the first thing we noticed was the rooms had non-period furniture that was hodge-podge through...  more »
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  • I absolutely fell in the love with the Powel House when I first saw it. It is a gorgeous historical home in Society Hill, Philadelphia that is filled with a such a rich history. We chose to have our small intimate wedding there and were blown away by how accommodating the staff was and how beautifully the house was transformed for the reception. I would highly recommend for a tour or even more so if you're looking to host a wedding or other event. Thank you Jennifer for everything!
  • Lovely gracious house furnished in the style of the 1700's
  • Nice historic place that is often over looked. You should set an appointment with the care taker so she can have a personal tour with you. But walk-ins welcome
  • Simply amazing history and architecture. Great place for an event!
  • Well preserved historic location great for short visits

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Where to stay in Philadelphia

Most of Philadelphia's hotels cluster around the compact city center, ensuring quick and easy access to major tourist sights and activities. The only drawback to staying in this area is the lack of free parking, so if you're exploring by car, considering booking into a bed and breakfast in one of the city's residential blocks. Visitors planning on longer stays can also consider several apartment hotels, offering spacious furnished units with complimentary Wi-Fi, free bike rentals, and access to rooftop terraces.
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