There are a lot of historic mansions that claim beautiful views, but none in the Philadelphia area can compare to Belmont Mansion. Situated at the summit of Belmont Plateau, on a clear day you can see the Center City skyline and New Jersey beyond. Originally you could see, and walk to, the Schuylkill as well but this area is now forested.

The oldest section of the house is Georgian with a very symmetrical façade and prominent quoins. It has the small-but-elegant proportions found on so many early country houses. The Georgian detailing is noteworthy such as the projecting center pavilion and the keystone and flat arch treatment of the lintels. Its original appearance has been altered by a third floor addition and the wrap around porch - both 19th century additions. Look closely and you can see the quoins change in depth at the third floor. The interiors have been restored and the carved plaster work, noted by many visitors in the 18th century, is spectacular.

Built by William Peters a prosperous lawyer, the house passed to his son Richard. Richard was very active in Revolutionary War era politics and hosted all the founding fathers here. After the war, in addition to being the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly and a judge, he was an avid gentleman farmer and Belmont was known for its extensive gardens. Richard was also a member of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery and opposed the Fugitive Slave act of 1793.
Belmont Mansion
Belmont Mansion, with the best views in the park, is a small jewel. Lovingly restored, it is a venue for private meetings and also a museum dedicated to the Underground Railroad. Worth the effort to see it.
Courtesy of Historic American Building Survey
Courtesy of Historic American Building Survey
Courtesy of Historic American Building Survey