Philadelphia and the Countryside - Press Room

Releases: Expanded View

Dec 14 2010

The President’s House: House Timeline

This is a National Park Service/City of Philadelphia press release.

Before For hundreds of years before 1630, Algonquian peoples resided here.
1682 The city of Philadelphia founded.
1767 House built by Mary Lawrence Masters, a rich the widow of a former mayor and slaveholder.
1772 House is a wedding present to daughter Polly and slave owning Lieutenant Governor Richard Penn.
1777 Headquarters of General Sir William Howe, a slave owner and leader of British forces, during the British occupation of Philadelphia.
1778 Headquarters of slave owning Major General Benedict Arnold whose betrayal of the Revolution begins here.
1782 Financier and slaveholder Robert Morris rebuilds and expands the reconstructed residence after major fire.
1790 Philadelphia becomes the nation’s capital. Additions to house are built for George Washington’s official duties, his extended family, and enslaved, indentured and free household servants.
1797 Newly elected President John Adams and his wife Abigail move in.
1800 House converted into Francis’s Union Hotel, then becomes shops and a boarding house after government departs for Washington D.C.
1832 House demolished and three stores are created within the gutted space, leaving only the side walls and foundation of the former house.
1935 Stores demolished with no acknowledgment of the site’s historic significance.
1945-67 Creation of Independence Mall State Park.
1948 Establishment of Independence National Historic Park
1951 Last remaining walls unknowingly demolished to create Independence Mall.
1954 Public restroom for Independence Mall built on the site.
1973 Independence National Historical Park takes over management. President’s House site identified.
2002 Announcement of plans for the construction of the Liberty Bell Center, which would partially cover the space identified as housing for enslaved and free household servants, leads to a public outcry—initiated by historians, members of the African American community, the Independence Hall Association and others—to commemorate the house and its residents.
2003 Liberty Bell Center opens.
2007 Archaeology reveals partial foundations of the house and back buildings.
2010 President’s House exhibits open.

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Dec 15 2010

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This is a National Historical Park/City of Philadelphia press release.

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