Visit Historic Strawberry Mansion to hear a special reading of “As Fast As Words Could Fly” by author Pamela M. Tuck in celebration of Black History Month. Guests will receive a copy of the book and can if have it signed by Pamela M. Tuck after the reading. Stick around for a free guided tour of Historic Strawberry Mansion after the reading.
Tour festively decorated Laurel Hill, Woodford, and Historic Strawberry Mansion on November 30 during this exclusive tour lit softly by candlelight, evoking the past in a unique and lovely way. Friendly and knowledgeable guides share the rich and interesting history of Fairmount Park and the life of the residents who called each of these magnificent buildings home. The tour concludes with assorted hors-d’oeuvres and desserts at Historic Strawberry Mansion. Transportation to each house is included on a private trolley car. Pick up is at Lloyd Hall (1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130) at 5:30 pm.
Tickets are $49.95 and can be purchased here.
Grab a blanket or chairs and head out to the Mansion on July 30th for live music, activities for kids and tasty strawberry inspired ice cream samples from Franklin Fountain with additional ice cream selections for purchase.
Lounge in our beautiful backyard and listen to live music from talented local performers. Smith Memorial Playground and Strawberry Mansion Learning Center will be onsite with fun activities for kids. Enjoy free tours of Historic Strawberry Mansion and our nearby orchard from the Philadelphia Orchard Project.
Entry is only $5! Children 5 and under free with an accompanying adult.
The Committee of 1926 is issuing an RFP to select an Exclusive Caterer to provide event planning and catering at Historic Strawberry Mansion. The Committee requests proposals from all individuals and firms that would like to manage and operate event planning and catering services at the Mansion. By entering into an agreement for Event Planning and Catering, the Committee intends to encourage the scheduling of more events at the Mansion offering such services, to increase the use of the Mansion, and to generate additional interest in the Mansion and additional revenue for the support of the Committee’s mission.
The 9th annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 10, from noon – 2 pm features food and fun for the whole family! Enjoy orchard tours, free tours of the Mansion, crafts and games, a plant sale, an open-hive beekeeping demonstration, honey tastings, and more! Parks on Tap, Philadelphia’s only traveling beer garden, will be present from noon – 5 pm.
Author Tom Keels will be at Historic Strawberry Mansion on April 22nd, 2017 to discuss his new book, Sesqui! Greed, Graft, and The Forgotten World’s Fair of 1926. Keels did research for Sesqui! in the archives of Historic Strawberry Mansion, and this new book places a spotlight on the contributions of the Sesquicenntenial Women’s Committee, the group who would later form the Committee of 1926 and restore Historic Strawberry Mansion!
“In his portrayal of the 1926 Sesqui-Centennial, Tom Keels has once again opened a wide, insightful and revealing historical lens on Philadelphia. It is hard to imagine how the flaws and fault lines in American society could be more stunningly exposed than in this fast-paced story of the 150th anniversary of the nation’s birth in the city where it all started. By tracing the political, social, cultural, and economic conflicts that inflicted the once promising event, Sesqui! portrays the ongoing tensions between good government reformers and the political machine, reinforces the second-class citizenry bestowed on women and African Americans, and vividly shows how the best intentions and investment can go so badly wrong through human error. Sesqui! is a great read that helps us better understand urban America in the early twentieth century.”
—Sam Katz, Executive Producer, History Making Productions
In 1916, department store magnate and Grand Old Philadelphian John Wanamaker launched plans for a Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition in his hometown in 1926. It would be a magnificent world’s fair to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Wanamaker hoped that the “Sesqui” would also transform sooty, industrial Philadelphia into a beautiful Beaux-Arts city.
However, when the Sesqui opened on May 31, 1926, in the remote, muddy swamps of South Philadelphia, the first visitors were stunned to find an unfinished fair, with a few shabbily built and mostly empty structures. Crowds stayed away in droves: fewer than five million paying customers attended the Sesqui, costing the city millions of dollars. Philadelphia became a national scandal—a city so corrupt that one political boss could kidnap an entire world’s fair.
In his fascinating history Sesqui!, noted historian Thomas Keels situates this ill-fated celebration—a personal boondoggle by the all-powerful Congressman William S. Vare-against the transformations taking place in America during the 1920s. Keels provides a comprehensive account of the Sesqui as a meeting ground for cultural changes sweeping the country: women’s and African-American rights, anti-Semitism, eugenics, Prohibition, and technological advances.
Seating is limited, reserve your space here!
Historic Strawberry Mansion beekeepers invite visitors to view the live installation of bees into our hives at the Mansion on Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 16. Each event is weather permitted. Stay tuned for additional details by following Historic Strawberry Mansion on Facebook and @Historic_SM on Twitter.
On Saturday, February 25th from noon – 4 p.m, Historic Strawberry Mansion will have a special one-day exhibit on display in the Exhibition Room to complement the Judge William Lewis exhibit, “A Freedom To Go Forth.” Items from the Lest We Forget Slavery Museum, the only Philadelphia area museum with an extensive collection of authentic slavery artifacts, will be on view and Lest We Forget’s curators will be on hand to discuss the artifacts with visitors.
It’s almost that time of year again – our busy holiday season! Every December, Historic Strawberry Mansion and the other park houses open our doors to thousands of visitors during the Christmas in Fairmount Park tours. This year’s theme: A Very Philly Christmas. We’ve got plenty of special events happening at the Mansion, so read below for dates and times, as well as info on our holiday hours.
December 1-4, 6-11, 13-18, 20-22, 29-30. Most days 10am-4pm, see below for specific hourly changes.
CLOSED: Dec 23-28th, Dec 31st, January 1st.
December 1st & 8th: Holiday Candlelight Tour, 5:30-8:30pm
December 3rd: Sounds of the Season – 10am – 4pm featuring a performance by Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra from 2:30-3:30pm; Parks on Tap – 12pm – 5pm
December 4th: Family Day – 10am -4pm featuring Holiday Storytelling by the Walnut Street Theatre at 1:30, 2:15 & 3:30pm
December 8th: Holiday Tea – 11am – 1pm, the Mansion will not be open to the public until 2pm on the day of the tea.
December 10th: Neighborhood Day – 10am – 4pm
December 11th: Flavors of the Season – 10am – 4pm featuring small bites from Giambri’s Quality Sweets and Whole Foods Market.
For more information on A Very Philly Christmas and the events happening at all of the Fairmount Park Historic Houses this season, please visit: www.holidaysinthepark.com
On Friday, November 4, Historic Strawberry Mansion was featured on WHYY’s Friday Arts program. Visit the link below to see the piece during the second part of the program.