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Physick House

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Physick House Review

Built in 1786, this is one of two remaining freestanding houses from this era in Society Hill (you will see plenty of the famous Philadelphia row houses here), with elegantly restored interiors and some of the finest Federal and Empire furniture in Philadelphia. Touches of Napoléon's France are everywhere: the golden bee motif woven into upholstery; the magenta-hue Aubusson rug (the emperor's favorite color); and stools in the style of Pompeii, the Roman city rediscovered at the time of the house's construction. Upstairs in the parlor, note the inkstand that still retains Benjamin Franklin's fingerprints. The house's most famous owner was Philip Syng Physick, the "Father of American Surgery" and a leading physician in the days before anesthesia. His most celebrated patient was Chief Justice John Marshall. The garden planted on three sides of the house is filled with plants common during the 19th century: complete with an Etruscan sarcophagus, a natural grotto, and antique cannon, it is considered by some to be the city's loveliest.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 321 S. 4th St., Society Hill, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | Map It
  • Phone: 215/925–7866
  • Cost: $5
  • Hours: Thurs.–Sat., noon–5, Sun. 1–5; guided tours on hr, last tour at 4
  • Website:
  • Location: Society Hill
Updated: 05-19-2011

Fodorite Reviews

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    Very good historic house

    A very good historic house in the area, with plenty of nice furnishings and exhibits. Good tour. Hours are a bit short, but worth seeing.

    by bachslunch, 10/20/08

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