Philadelphia (Germantown)

Stenton in Germantown




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Erected 1723 - 30 by James Logan, secretary to William Penn, Stenton is a finely preserved Georgian home and may be the most important piece of architecture in Philadelphia from the early 18th century. General Sir William Howe used it as his headquarters during the Battle of Germantown (1777). George Washington stayed there six weeks earlier (23-Aug-1777) prior to the Battle of Brandywine. Originally sitting on 511 acres with extensive gardens, the property is now 3 acres, with gardens still surrounding the house and an elegant but simple interior.
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Visitors to Monticello often wonder at its practical accessories. Jefferson labored a month to save a minute. His home was impractical from the start — by reason of its very site (on a mountain), by the height given the first version of the building (later disguised in a way that left useless spaces in and around its dome), by the perpetual course of its dismantling and reassembly. To make the house more convenient, he made his daughter and her children live for years in a chaos of artistic second thoughts, sometimes sheltered only by canvas as the roof rose, fell, and assumed new shapes in his mind.

Garry Wills
Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1978)