Wall House (Elkins Park, Pennsylvania)

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Wall House
Wall house front.JPG
Wall House, September 2008
Wall House (Elkins Park, Pennsylvania) is located in Philadelphia
Wall House (Elkins Park, Pennsylvania)
Location Wall Park Drive, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°4′42″N 75°7′44″W / 40.07833°N 75.12889°W / 40.07833; -75.12889Coordinates: 40°4′42″N 75°7′44″W / 40.07833°N 75.12889°W / 40.07833; -75.12889
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1682
Architect Unknown
Architectural style No Style Listed
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 79002302[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 28, 1979
Designated PHMC November 21, 1982[2]

The Richard Wall house, built 1682, is "the oldest house in Pennsylvania which has had continuous family residency".[3] It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as "Wall House" also known as "The Ivy". Having hosted religious meetings and weddings, the house is also among the earliest places of Quaker worship still standing in the United States. It is now a museum located at Church Road and Wall Park Drive, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania.


Richard Wall was a founder of Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania. He arrived with William Penn's group of Quakers in 1682. He and fourteen others pooled their land purchases to create the township. They named the township for the main town in Gloucestershire, England, where they apparently originated.

The Wall family was joined in marriage by the Shoemaker family. The families owned a corn grist mill on Tacony Creek. Descendants of the Walls lived in the house until 1847,[4] followed by the Bosler family. In 1932 the township acquired the house and surrounding lands for "Wall Park." The house was rented from 1932 to 1979. Harold C. Pike, (township manager) moved in 1941 and resided there until his death in 1978. Since 1980 the house has been managed by the Cheltenham Township Historical Commission, which opened the museum and orientation center in 1993.

An original section of wall can be seen in the current basement. The house was redesigned in 1730, 1760, and 1805. Later renovations added running water and electricity.

The permanent exhibits display elements of life during more than two hundred years of residence. Highlights include a fully furnished and electrified, 5-foot-tall (1.5 m) doll house created before 1920;[5] and a collection of over 100 antique tools.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Richard Wall House Museum", an information sheet provided to visitors of the museum.
  4. ^ Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. "Wall House (The Ivy)" (historical marker), Church Road and Wall Park Drive, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. 1982.
  5. ^ Hirsch, Lois. "The Doll House Lady and Her Doll House", an information sheet provided to visitors of the museum. Collected July 3, 2006.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rothschild, Elaine W., A History of Cheltenham Township. Pennsylvania: Cheltenham Township Historical Commission, 1976.

External links[edit]