Asa Packer Mansion

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Asa Packer Mansion
Packer Mansion001.jpg
Asa Packer Mansion, September 2004
Asa Packer Mansion is located in Pennsylvania
Asa Packer Mansion
Asa Packer Mansion is located in the US
Asa Packer Mansion
Location Packer Hill Ave., Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°51′52″N 75°44′18″W / 40.86444°N 75.73833°W / 40.86444; -75.73833Coordinates: 40°51′52″N 75°44′18″W / 40.86444°N 75.73833°W / 40.86444; -75.73833
Area less than one acre
Built 1852 (1852)
Architect Samuel Sloan
Architectural style Italianate, Other
NRHP Reference # 74001765
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 30, 1974[2]
Designated NHL February 4, 1985[3]
Designated PHMC May 14, 1971[1]

The Asa Packer Mansion is a historic house museum on Packer Road in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, United States. Completed in 1861, it was the home of Asa Packer (1805–1879), a coal and railroad magnate and founder of Lehigh University. It is one of the best preserved Italianate Villa homes in the United States, with original Victorian furnishings and finishes. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985.[3]

Description[edit]

The Asa Packer Mansion is located near Jim Thorpe's historic downtown Broadway area, on a terrace overlooking the Lehigh River on the west side of Packer Hill Avenue. The home of Packer's son, the Harry Packer Mansion, designed by Sloan's protegee Addison Hutton, is next door on the same road. The Asa Packer Mansion is a three-story seventeen-room mansion, with a two-story covered porch. Both the main roof and porch roof have extended eaves with brackets, and the main roof is capped by a cupola. The main three-story block is extended to either side by smaller blocks ending in bowed segments. The porch has elaborate Italianate details, including arched valances with lacework in the spandrels, and lacework balustrades on the second floor. The interior is also lavishly appointed, retaining original woodwork, features and period furnishings.[4]

History[edit]

Packer commissioned it to be built in what was then the Borough of Mauch Chunk. It was completed in 1861.[4] The architect was Samuel Sloan of Philadelphia who also designed the Southern Mansion Hotel in Cape May, New Jersey, and Longwood in Natchez, Mississippi. The house bears a strong resemblance to a design published by Sloan in his 1852 Model Architect, in which he promoted the Italian Villa style.

Museum[edit]

Upon the death of Mary Packer Cummings, Mr. Packer's daughter, the home was willed to the Borough of Mauch Chunk to remain as a memorial to her father and his many accomplishments. The borough, not certain what to do with the home, closed it, and for 44 years the home sat idle. The Jim Thorpe Lions Club, looking to sponsor a new community project, approached the borough about opening the home. It was opened for tours on Memorial Day of 1956.

The home is owned by the town of Jim Thorpe and financially controlled by the Jim Thorpe Lions Club. Ava M. Bretzik is the Director and Historian of the Mansion Museum and oversees the day-to-day operations.Ronald J Sheehan serves as Executive Director of the Mansion Museum as is in charge of overall administration of the National Historic Landmark property.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974,[2] and was further declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985.[3][4] It is located in the Old Mauch Chunk Historic District.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PHMC Historical Markers". Historical Marker Database. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ a b c "Asa Packer Mansion". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  4. ^ a b c Carolyn Pitts (August 10, 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Asa Packer Mansion" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 5 photos, interior only, undated (806 KB)

External links[edit]