Cliveden of the National Trust

1 Dec 2016


Audiences take in Liberty To Go To See, 2015, at Cliveden’s Main House, an interactive dramatic event based on the Chew Family Papers, produced by the New Freedom Theatre and featuring a script created through a year-long partnership between Cliveden and the Philadelphia Young Playwrights.


The main building at Cliveden, constructed 1763–67. Courtesy of Cliveden.


Cliveden’s historic 1959 kitchen. Photo courtesy of Cliveden of the National Trust.

Cliveden of the National Trust is an 18th-century historic house and the site of the 1777 Battle of Germantown. Cliveden's site includes two historic properties on over five acres of green space in Philadelphia's Historic Germantown. A National Historic Landmark, Cliveden was the summer home of prominent colonial attorney Benjamin Chew. Following the discovery of records describing the Chew family's slaveholding, Cliveden began a process of re-interpretation that considers the relationship between wealth, privilege, and slavery in early American culture. In 2011, Center funding supported a process rooted in community dialogue and engagement, and painstaking research with primary source documents. In 2015, Cliveden received Center support to complete a historical interpretation project to compare domestic life in two centuries through the exploration of the site's 1767 and 1959 kitchens.