The President's House, Philadelphia

#46 of 55 in Museums in Philadelphia
Historic Site · Specialty Museum
The President's House, at 524–30 Market Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the third Presidential Mansion. It housed George Washington from November 27, 1790, to March 10, 1797, and John Adams from March 21, 1797, to May 30, 1800.
The three-and-a-half-story brick mansion on the south side of Market Street was built in 1767 by widow Mary Lawrence Masters. In 1772, she gave it as a wedding gift to her elder daughter, who married Richard Penn, the lieutenant-governor of the Colony and a grandson of William Penn. The Penns and the Masterses moved to England during the early days of the American Revolutionary War.
During the British occupation of Philadelphia, September 1777 to June 1778, the house was headquarters for General Sir William Howe. Following the British evacuation, it housed the American military governor, Benedict Arnold, and it was here that he began his treason. After Arnold left Philadelphia, the next resident was John Holker. Holker was a purchasing agent for the French, who were American allies at the time. Under his care the house suffered a fire, and was sold to a man whom Holker knew well, Robert Morris.
In 1781, it was purchased, refurbished, and expanded by Robert Morris, who lived here while Superintendent of Finance. Washington lodged here with Morris during the 1787 Constitutional Convention. In 1790, Morris gave up the house for his friend to use as the Executive Mansion, moving to the house next door. President Washington occupied it from November 1790 to March 1797, and President Adams from March 1797 to May 1800. Adams oversaw the transfer of the federal government to the District of Columbia, and first occupied the White House on November 1, 1800.
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  • You can see the site by the Liberty Bell Center, but they have it blocked off from access. While the original house is gone, this gives you the site “frame” of where the house used to stand.  more »
  • Lots to learn here about George Washington and his slaves. What happened here and how he got around a Pennsylvania law.  more »

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