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Grey Towers Castle (1893) – National Historic Landmark | by origamidon
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Grey Towers Castle (1893) – National Historic Landmark

Glenside, Pennsylvania USA • Constructed in 1893, this American "castle" typifies the architectural complexes built for families of great wealth at the turn of the century, symbolizing their social aspirations. This was the first major commission of Horace Trumbauer (1869 -1938), a successful architect of European-revival styles; today it is Arcadia University (formerly known as Beaver College.) – From the NPS Statement of Significance.


Grey Towers Castle was built in the late 1890’s by architect Horace Trumbauer, whose firm helped build the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for sugar millionaire William Welsh Harrison. The castle was designed to resemble Alnwick Castle in England and was built to replace Harrison’s Rosedale Hall home which burned to the ground on the same site in 1893. The estate was purchased by Arcadia College in 1929 and today serves as a dormitory as well as home to the office of the president and the Offices of Admissions, Enrollment Management, and Financial Aid. Harrison was reportedly a philanderer and had secret passageways built into the castle to conduct his affairs with his mistresses including many female servants and maids. – From 19 Beautiful Famous Castles in Pennsylvania, by Joe Dorish.


☞ On February 14, 1980, the National Park Service added this structure, also known as the William Welsh Harrison House, to the National Register of Historic Places (#80003578).


☞ On February 4, 1985, the National Park Service designated this structure a National Historic Landmark (also, #80003578).


National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. [And only 17 in Vermont.] Working with citizens throughout the nation, the National Historic Landmarks Program draws upon the expertise of National Park Service staff who work to nominate new landmarks and provide assistance to existing landmarks.


National Historic Landmarks are exceptional places. They form a common bond between all Americans. While there are many historic places across the nation, only a small number have meaning to all Americans--these we call our National Historic Landmarks. – From the National Park Service.


☞ More photos of this and other National Historical Landmarks.


More Info: GeoHack: 40°4′53″N 75°9′54″W.

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Taken on June 7, 2003