The Woodlands, 4000 Woodlands Avenue, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, PA
- Upscale 2x2048x1370
Previous structure names, Andrew Hamilton House & William Hamilton House, removed from name field due to more current research which revealed that Andrew Hamilton House was incorrect & William Hamilton House was not historically used for the structure.
See also HABS No. PA-1125-A for additional documentation of The Woodlands, Stable-Carriage House. Additional documentation includes drawings & field records. See also HALS No. PA-5 for related documentation of Woodlands Cemetery. Additional documentation includes drawings, photographs, written data, & field records.
Significance: William Hamilton's (1745-1813) house at The Woodlands in Philadelphia stands as one of the greatest American domestic achievements of the eighteenth century. From its beginnings around 1771 -which included what was likely the first monumental portico in Philadelphia -to is neoclassical reconstruction between 1786 and 1789, Hamilton's residence at The Woodlands represents nearly every aspect of contemporary genteel culture as individually interpreted by one native North American. As a setting for both formal and informal entertainment, the display of art, and day-to-day living, the house also boasted what were likely the best-finished and most sophisticated service spaces created at the time in Philadelphia, and perhaps in the country as a whole.
The house's imported avant-garde neoclassical design presaged the formation of architectural trends in America that would dominate building design and construction for the first decades of the nineteenth century. Beyond its singular importance and survival as a structure, the house at The Woodlands was not conceived in an isolated manner. Its aesthetic and functional qualities were intimately related to, indeed inseparable from, the surround estate. These eighteenth-century pleasure and work landscapes have passed from existence; however, the house and its accompanying stable/carriage house remain as testimony to the grand estate that William Hamilton visualized, built, and rebuilt on the banks of the Schuylkill River over the course of his adult life.
Survey number: HABS PA-1125
National Register of Historic Places NRIS Number: 67000022