Mount Pleasant (mansion)
Mount Pleasant mansion
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Area||< 1-acre (4,000 m2)|
|Governing body||Local (Fairmount Park Commission)|
|NRHP Reference #||66000685|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||May 30, 1974|
Mount Pleasant is a historic mansion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, atop cliffs overlooking the Schuylkill River. It was built about 1761-62 in what was then the countryside outside of the city by John Mcpherson and his wife Margaret. Macpherson was a privateer, or perhaps a pirate, who had had "an arm twice shot off" according to John Adams. He named the house "Clunie" after the seat of his family's ancient clan in Scotland.
Architecture and history
The Georgian mansion has an entrance topped by a pediment supported by Doric columns. A balustrade crowns the roof which also has prominent dormers and two large chimneys. Two small pavilions flank the main house, an office and a summer kitchen.
John Adams visited the mansion in 1775 and called it "the most elegant seat in Pennsylvania." The interiors contain the original paneling with ornamental carving, and still show the "elegance of the lifestyle of colonial elites," as well as souvenirs of Mcpherson's life and times, and period furniture by craftsmen such as Martin Jugiez. The furniture is from the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Mount Pleasant was also home to Benedict Arnold and his wife Peggy Shippen. Arnold purchased Mount Pleasant on March 22, 1779 for his new bride, and specifically made the property over to her ownership and that of their future children. The couple occupied the property as their country estate in 1779 and 1780; Arnold's defection to the British in September 1780 ended their use of the estate.
Historic American Buildings Survey photographs
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Mount Pleasant". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
- "Mount Pleasant." (html). Independence Hall Association.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art. ""Fairmount Park Houses: Mount Pleasant."" (html).
- Patricia Heintzelman (August 30, 1974). PDF (32 KB). National Park Service and PDF (32 KB)
- Mount Pleasant :: gophila.com – The Official Visitor Site for Greater Philadelphia
- Mount Pleasant, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Accessed May 22, 2012.
- New York Times, June 7, 1896
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mount Pleasant mansion.|
- Historic American Buildings Survey, including 44 photographs and 32 measured drawings
- Philadelphia Museum of Art: Fairmount Park Houses
- Philadelphia Museum of Art: Saving a Colonial Masterpiece: Mount Pleasant Restored
- Fairmount Park: Mount Pleasant – includes visiting house
- Historic Photographs of Mount Pleasant, PhillyHistory.org
- Description of Mount Pleasant at the Historical Society of Philadelphia