Fodor's Expert Review Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion
Philadelphia's only mid-19th-century house-museum is a Victorian Gothic extravaganza of elongated windows and arches. This gorgeous 1859 suburban villa is used to illustrate the way Victorian social mores were reflected through its decoration. The downstairs highlights the Rococo Revival (circa 1860), the upstairs is fashioned after the Renaissance Revival (1880s), and the difference is striking, especially the Art Deco–like wall details you may not associate with the time. Also striking is the chamber pot in the dining room that the men used after the ladies retired to the parlor. What makes this house particularly interesting is that it was home to middle-upper-class residents, and so much of the decoration represents the norm of what people in that class strove to be. The house is two blocks from the Tulpehocken stop on SEPTA's Chestnut Hill West line.