Cliveden

Cliveden A National Trust for Historic Preservation site in Philadelphia/ Germantown.

A National Historic Site, well known as a battleground during the Revolutionary War, and commemorated every year during the Revolutionary Germantown Festival. Tours and exhibits tell the fascinating stories of the wealthy elite Chew family and early African American history in Philadelphia. To experience Cliveden is to experience the American story, and all of the struggles for freedom endured by a people.

Thank you to the National Endowment for the Humanities for supporting our project Illuminating Hidden Lives: Bringing Af...
01/09/2024

Thank you to the National Endowment for the Humanities for supporting our project Illuminating Hidden Lives: Bringing African American Stories to Life! Congratulations to Historic Germantown and all fellow recipients.

Press Release NEH Announces $33.8 Million for 260 Humanities Projects Nationwide Grant awards support capacity-building projects at small museums, documentation of community heritage, conservation research and training, humanities initiatives at college campuses, and new research and digital resourc...

If you’d like to visit Cliveden during the first few months of 2024, tours are available by appointment. Reservations mu...
01/05/2024

If you’d like to visit Cliveden during the first few months of 2024, tours are available by appointment. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Tours are an hour long and feature our exhibit, The Turmoil of Transition: The mid-nineteenth century at Cliveden, which explores the tensions in the household as the country moved closer to the Civil War. To learn more and schedule a tour, visit https://cliveden.org/tours/ or contact Education Director Carolyn Wallace at [email protected].

Happy New Year! May 2024 bring you joy and happiness.
01/01/2024

Happy New Year! May 2024 bring you joy and happiness.

There's still time to support Cliveden before the end of the year! We need your help to reach our goals. Contributions w...
12/29/2023

There's still time to support Cliveden before the end of the year! We need your help to reach our goals. Contributions will be used towards sharing Cliveden's diverse stories and preserving this historic space.
To support our end-of-year appeal, visit https://loom.ly/5tHf9SQ. Many thanks!

In 2023, Cliveden engaged even more with our community through the grounds, our tour and rental programs, Second Saturda...
12/23/2023

In 2023, Cliveden engaged even more with our community through the grounds, our tour and rental programs, Second Saturdays and the Revolutionary Germantown Festival. With your support, our work to bring more of Cliveden's stories can continue.

You can support Cliveden this holiday season by giving to the Annual Appeal, the Barn Renovation Project, or by becoming a Friend of Cliveden. Your support is vital to our work in 2024 and we hope you will join us next year. To learn more and support, visit https://loom.ly/5tHf9SQ. Thank you!

Cliveden's offices and grounds will be closed Friday, December 22nd through Monday, January 1st for the holiday season. ...
12/21/2023

Cliveden's offices and grounds will be closed Friday, December 22nd through Monday, January 1st for the holiday season. Tours will not be available during this time but will resume by appointment in January 2024. To request a tour, visit https://loom.ly/4d0PVjs. Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!

12/07/2023

Flurries at Cliveden! ❄️❄️❄️

Thank you to everyone who toured Cliveden this year! We hope you enjoyed viewing our exhibit, The Turmoil of Transition,...
12/04/2023

Thank you to everyone who toured Cliveden this year! We hope you enjoyed viewing our exhibit, The Turmoil of Transition, and learning about the mid-nineteenth century at Cliveden.

Tours are now available by appointment, contact our office at 215-848-1777 to schedule yours! Don't forget: we have a tour promotion with Young American Hard Cider - visitors can tour Cliveden and receive a free, traditional cider at Young American! Visitors must have a dated coupon from Cliveden to receive the free traditional cider.

To learn more about The Turmoil of Transition, visit https://cliveden.org/the-turmoil-of-transition/. We hope to see you here soon! Young American Hard Cider & Tasting Room

Cliveden's new exhibit, The Turmoil of Transition, explores the mid-19th century at Cliveden and turmoil within the Chew family.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Barn Renovation Project on  ! We greatly appreciate it.To see the full listing o...
11/29/2023

Thank you to everyone who supported the Barn Renovation Project on ! We greatly appreciate it.

To see the full listing of barns that we featured over the last two weeks, see our highlight on our Instagram account:

Be sure to follow us here as we share progress on the renovation project. To learn more, visit https://cliveden.org/barn-renovation-project/.

Thank you again for your support!

There is still time to contribute to the Barn Renovation Project and contribute towards bringing the Cliveden Barn into ...
11/29/2023

There is still time to contribute to the Barn Renovation Project and contribute towards bringing the Cliveden Barn into the 21st century! The renovation will improve both the exterior and interior of the Barn while also improving its function for the community and assisting Cliveden in continuing our work to preserve and share the site with the public.

To support the project, visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/. There’s only a few hours left to , support the Barn Renovation Project today!

In addition to updating the interior of the Barn, the renovation project will also focus on its exterior. The Barn is co...
11/28/2023

In addition to updating the interior of the Barn, the renovation project will also focus on its exterior. The Barn is constructed out of Wissahickon schist and features doors, frames and windows made of wood. After 50 years of use and environmental changes, all the woodwork needs to be renovated and repainted. With your support today, work can begin to update the Barn’s appearance!
To support the Barn Renovation Project, see the link in our bio and contribute today.

In addition to updating the interior of the Barn, the renovation project will also focus on its exterior. The Barn is co...
11/28/2023

In addition to updating the interior of the Barn, the renovation project will also focus on its exterior. The Barn is constructed out of Wissahickon schist and features doors, frames and windows made of wood. After 50 years of use and environmental changes, all the woodwork needs to be renovated and repainted. With your support today, work can begin to update the Barn’s appearance!

To support the Barn Renovation Project, visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/ and contribute today.

Thank you to those who have contributed towards the Barn Renovation Project! We appreciate your support. The Cliveden Ba...
11/28/2023

Thank you to those who have contributed towards the Barn Renovation Project! We appreciate your support.

The Cliveden Barn is the most publicly-used building on the site. If you’ve visited our grounds, attended programs, or taken a tour, the Barn may have been the first building you entered where the stories of Cliveden and the people who lived and labored here are introduced. Part of the renovation will include updating the lighting, HVAC systems, and other interior facilities to improve the energy efficiency of the Barn and make it more functional for our community.

To support the Barn Renovation Project, visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/. We thank you again for your support!

It’s officially   and our goal is to raise funds toward the Barn Renovation Project! If you have followed our barn posts...
11/28/2023

It’s officially and our goal is to raise funds toward the Barn Renovation Project! If you have followed our barn posts over the last two weeks, you’ll have learned a lot about our barn: constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, the Cliveden Barn had several additions added on as the property was used for farming. Today, it serves as our visitor center and administrative office space, as well as affordable rental space for the community and local organizations and exhibit. The time has come for a much-needed renovation to bring the Barn into the 21st century!

Today, please support the Barn Renovation Project through our website at https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/ or contacting our office at 215-848-1777 to contribute via phone. Your support of the project will help the Barn remain an asset to both the community and Cliveden staff. Follow us throughout the day as we share updates!

A special thank you to donors who gave in advance of today; we greatly appreciate your support!

The four pictures below show several old Germantown barns for which historians have not found a location.  Do YOU recogn...
11/28/2023

The four pictures below show several old Germantown barns for which historians have not found a location. Do YOU recognize any of these barns? Let us know if any of them look familiar to you.

Tomorrow on Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! Constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, with many additions as farm operations grew. The barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. To learn more and support, visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/!

Image credits:
1 - A Farm Yard in Germantown – Library of Congress
2 - Unknown barn – Edwin Jellet, photographer, 1903 – Germantown Historical Society
3 - Barn photo labeled “1690 Homestead” – possibly Rittenhouse Town? – Germantown Historical Society
4 - Unknown house and barn - Germantown Historical Society

Historic Germantown The Library of Congress Historic Rittenhouse Town

This barn stood up a rise from the Livezey house, or Glen Fern, in the Wissahickon. Thomas Shoemaker owned this site and...
11/27/2023

This barn stood up a rise from the Livezey house, or Glen Fern, in the Wissahickon. Thomas Shoemaker owned this site and probably built the center section of the house by 1746. The following year, he sold it and a mill to Thomas Livezey, whose Quaker family came from England in 1682. The Livezey family named the house Glen Fern and lived there for 123 years. In 1869, the city of Philadelphia bought the site for inclusion in Fairmount Park, and the mill buildings and this barn were demolished.

This Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! Constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, with many additions as farm operations grew, the barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. Visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/ to donate.

Image credit: The Livesey Barn, c1900 Chestnut Hill Conservancy
Chestnut Hill Conservancy Historic Germantown Friends of the Wissahickon Fairmount Park Conservancy

The stone bank barn at Stenton was built in 1787 for George Logan. The barn sheltered animals on the lower level, with h...
11/26/2023

The stone bank barn at Stenton was built in 1787 for George Logan. The barn sheltered animals on the lower level, with hay storage on the upper level. To support the agricultural operations at Stenton, there were many more outbuildings associated with the barn as seen in the first two images. Only the barn is still standing and now houses educational exhibits for Stenton.

This Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! Constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, with many additions as farm operations grew, the barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. Visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/ to donate.

Image credits:
1. Early photograph of Stenton with barn and outbuildings, c1870, Stenton Archives
2. The barn and lost carriage house at Stenton with Logan descendants, c1880s, Stenton Archives
3. The barn at Stenton c1976, Stenton Archives
4. Stenton barn today,
Historic Germantown

The structure in this image was the barn at Samuel Bringhurst’s property, later occupied by William Wynne Wister, 5140 G...
11/25/2023

The structure in this image was the barn at Samuel Bringhurst’s property, later occupied by William Wynne Wister, 5140 Germantown Avenue. In Germantown legend, painter Gilbert Stuart painted his famed portrait of George Washington in this building, using it as his studio 1796-1799. The barn was partially destroyed by fire in 1854 and was demolished in 1900.

Image credit: “Gilbert Stuart’s Studio” Robert Newel, photographer, c1870 - Germantown Historical Society Historic Germantown PhilaLandmarks

Built of local stone, the original Rittenhouse barn located on this site was recorded in the 1798 Direct Tax List as bel...
11/23/2023

Built of local stone, the original Rittenhouse barn located on this site was recorded in the 1798 Direct Tax List as belonging to Margaret (-1817), widow of William Rittenhouse (1720-1793). The barn is probably associated with the nearby Rittenhouse home — #210 which dates from 1750 — as it was Margaret’s home in 1798 until her death in 1817. The old stone barn was demolished, but in 1938, a reconstructed barn of the same dimensions was built by the Works Progress Administration (see second image).

This Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! Constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, with many additions as farm operations grew, the barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. Visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/ to donate!

Image Credits:
1. 1900, Margaret Rittenhouse's barn, Historic Rittenhouse Town archives
2. WPA reconstructed barn
Historic Germantown

In 1959, the interior of the Cliveden barn was remodeled for the Chew & Company Advertising office.  An arson fire, whic...
11/22/2023

In 1959, the interior of the Cliveden barn was remodeled for the Chew & Company Advertising office. An arson fire, which started at the Second Baptist Church across Cliveden Street, gutted the building in 1970, burning more than one half of the roof and much of the wood framing structure. This event caused the Chew family to consider removing from Cliveden and setting the property up to be a historic site. The Chew family sold Cliveden to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the barn was remodeled in the 1970s to serve as visitor center and offices for the historic site. Cliveden opened to the public for tours and educational programming in 1973. In 2023, after 50 years of service, the barn is ready for a capital update.

This Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! Constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, with many additions as farm operations grew, the barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. Visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/ to donate.

Image Credits:
1. Cliveden barn, c. 1950s
2 - 4: Cliveden barn after arson fire, 1970

Cliveden's offices and the grounds will be closed Thursday, November 23rd through Sunday, November 26th for the Thanksgi...
11/21/2023

Cliveden's offices and the grounds will be closed Thursday, November 23rd through Sunday, November 26th for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you and have a happy Thanksgiving!

The Cliveden Barn or “Carriage House” was enlarged at least six times since it was built for Benjamin Chew in 1766 by ma...
11/21/2023

The Cliveden Barn or “Carriage House” was enlarged at least six times since it was built for Benjamin Chew in 1766 by master craftsmen John Hesser and Jacob Knorr. As originally constructed, the building was a coach house and stable. In the 18th and early 19th century, coachmen often slept in the stable so they could be available to saddle or harness the horses. In the late 1770s, William Stewart worked as the coachman.

By 1798, the stable and coach house doubled in size with an addition for a carriage bay and stalls for horses, with a loft above. A cow stable was added to the rear, as the property shifted to more agricultural production. During the mid-19th century, two box stalls and a feed room were added. In the 1860s, farmer John Nichol, oversaw the management of the barn, animals and fields.

Two cupolas and a cart house and shop wing were added in 1881. In the late 19th century, the barn was a multi-purpose building, housing horses, cows, carriages, wagons, carts, hay, feed and serving as a shop area. Farm workers, stable hands, day laborers, gardeners, carpenters, farriers and others worked in and around the barn.

This Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! The barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. Visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/ to donate!

Images:
1: Cliveden barn with the Chew Carriage, c. 1880
2: Cliveden barn, c.1920, Walter Green
3: Cliveden barn construction chronology

The barn and stables of the Abbotts Alderney Dairies at 16-22 West School House Lane, view from the rear looking toward ...
11/20/2023

The barn and stables of the Abbotts Alderney Dairies at 16-22 West School House Lane, view from the rear looking toward School House Lane. This barn was demolished.

This Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! Constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, with many additions as farm operations grew, the barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. Visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/ to learn more.

Image credit: 1913, Marriot Canby Morris, photographer, Germantown Historical Society

This 1796 barn on Walnut Lane used to be the Wyck Historic House, Garden, and Farm barn. It was converted into a residen...
11/19/2023

This 1796 barn on Walnut Lane used to be the Wyck Historic House, Garden, and Farm barn. It was converted into a residence circa 1891 by architect Mantle Fielding. The adapted barn still stands and is a private residence today.

This Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! Constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, with many additions as farm operations grew, the barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. To learn more, visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/.

Image credit:
1. Wyck barn prior to conversion, c1890, Wyck House and Garden
2. Wyck barn altered into dwelling, John Bullock, photographer, c1913, Library Company of Philadelphia
The Library Company of Philadelphia Historic Germantown

This 18th century barn was located at the southwest corner of Germantown Ave and School House Lane. Dr. George Bensell e...
11/18/2023

This 18th century barn was located at the southwest corner of Germantown Ave and School House Lane. Dr. George Bensell erected a residence on the site of Jacob Tellner's dwelling in 1795. Although this residence was torn down in 1880, Bensell's barn survived in the rear of the property. Germantown Saving Fund occupied the building at the front of the property at the time of this photograph. This barn was demolished.

This Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! Constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, with many additions as farm operations grew. The Barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. To donate, visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/!

Image credit: Dr. Bensell's barn, John Bullock, photographer, c. 1913, Library Company of Philadelphia
The Library Company of Philadelphia Historic Germantown

This 18th/19th century frame (wood) and stone barn at Grumblethorpe stood at the back of the property until at least 195...
11/17/2023

This 18th/19th century frame (wood) and stone barn at Grumblethorpe stood at the back of the property until at least 1958, but it was demolished.

This Giving Tuesday, please support the capital campaign to renovate the Cliveden Barn! Constructed in 1766 by Germantown builders John Hesser and Jacob Knorr, with many additions as farm operations grew, the barn now serves as visitor center, community hub and administrative offices. The renovation project will restore the exterior and update the interior facilities. To learn more, visit https://cliveden.org/giving-tuesday/!

Image credit:
1. Grumblethorpe barn and farmyard with Mabel Wister, Charles J. Wister, photographer, 1885 - PhilaLandmarks
2. Grumblethorpe barn and farmyard from rear, Charles J. Wister, photographer, 1892 – Philadelphia Landmarks

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