The Woodlands Trust for Historic Preservation

1 Dec 2016


The Woodlands grounds during a summer event. Photo by Molly Dixon.


Interior view of the Saloon, the largest first floor room in the Hamilton Mansion. Photo by Ryan Collard.


The Woodlands Trust for Historic Preservation, view of the Hamilton Mansion from the Northwest, 1887.

Located outside of West Philadelphia, The Woodlands Trust for Historic Preservation is a 54-acre, 18th-century garden, cemetery, and mansion that offers the public one of the nation's most architecturally sophisticated neoclassical houses from the years following the American Revolution. A National Historic Landmark District, The Woodlands is an actively-used educational resource in architecture, botany, urban development, and the history of West Philadelphia. The Woodlands Cemetery, still active today, is the burial site of many historically-significant Philadelphians, including architect Paul Philippe Cret (1876–1945), artist Thomas Eakins (1844–1916), abolitionist Mary Grew (1813–96), and surgeon Samuel Gross (1805–84). In 2015, The Woodlands received Center funding for Not Your Typical 18th Century Gentleman, a research project to examine the unknown biography of aristocrat and eminent botanist William Hamilton and his role as a "bachelor gentleman" in 18th-century Philadelphia, and to connect his life to contemporary discourse on family, class, gender, and race. In 2021, the Woodlands received a Re:imagining Recovery grant to add a variety of site amenities—including a mobile visitor services station will serve as a box office, welcome center, and gift shop—to accommodate an influx of new visitors who sought an outdoor gathering place during the pandemic and discovered the historic site’s 54 acres of green space in West Philadelphia.