Three Local Historic Sites To Gain Landmark Status


Three Philadelphia-area historic sites will join an elite group of National Historic Landmarks (NHLs),
the nation's most honored official historic designation.

 

 

This article is a reprinted excerpt from the newsletter of the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia.

In June, the National Park System Advisory Board was expected to recommend to the Secretary of the Interior that Woodmont (Gladwyne, Montgomery County), Laurel Hill Cemetery (Philadelphia), and the Merion Friends Meetinghouse (Merion, Montgomery County) be designated as NHLs.

The nomination of Woodmont, originally the home of steel magnate Alan Wood, Jr., was sponsored by the Preservation Alliance.

 

The Manor House at The Mount of the House of the Lord.

 

 

 

It is one of the finest and best preserved chateau style houses of the 1890s America, designed by Philadelphia architect William L. Price. The palatial country estate could be imagined nestled in the Loire Valley of France, but instead it is sited on a promontory overlooking a bend in the Schuylkill River with a vista across the river to Wood's steel mills in Conshohocken. In its style, craftsmanship, monumentality, and estate grounds, Woodmont can be thought of as Philadelphia's Biltmore, The world renown estate of George W. Vanderbilt designed by Richard Morris Hunt in Asheville, N. C.

In 1952 the estate was acquired by The Palace Mission Church, and has served as the headquarters of the Peace Mission Movement ever since. A charismatic preacher, the Rev. M. J. Divine became widely known in the 1930s as the leader of a progressive religious and social movement that embraced integration and economic empowerment long before the Civil Rights Movements.

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