Tulpehocken means 'the land of the turtles' (the clan of the Lenni Lanape who settled this land).


Modern development began in the 1850's, and the Tulphocken Historic District is now on the National Register of Historic Places as one of America’s first railroad suburbs.


Villas representing every style of Victorian architecture regale—a few styles on view include:


French Second Empire (1865—1880s)

During the seventeenth century, French architect Francois Mansard used high-pitched two-sloped roofs to turn cramped attics into livable spaces. In America, a tall mansard roof with a rectangular tower offered a sense of height and European majesty. French Second Empire houses are often square in shape with single-story porches.


Queen Anne (1880s—1890s)

In America the Queen Anne (QA) is the quintessentially Victorian style. The style referenced back to Queen Anne’s rule, but also incorporated a variety of Elizabethan, Jacobean, Classical, and Oriental elements. Generally, QA houses fall into several categories:

• spindled (delicate turned porch posts and lacy, ornamental spindles),

• free classic (classical columns, often raised on brick or stone piers),

• half timbered (decorative half-timbering in the gables), and

• patterned masonry (frequently found in Center City, these QAs have brick, stone, or terra-cotta walls and decorative details in wood).


Georgian Revival (1870s and beyond)

Named after the four King Georges, a revival of this classical style (also called colonial revival) occurred at the end of the nineteenth century in reaction to the extraordinarily ornate Victorian-era styles. Georgian Revival architecture is a simple box, two rooms deep, with strictly symmetrical windows.

Begin at the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion

• Head SW on W. Tulpehocken St. to Wayne Ave.

• Make a left (go SE) on Wayne Ave. to W. Walnut Ln.

• Make a left (go NE) on W. Walnut Ln. to Germantown Ave.

• Make a left (go NW) on Germantown Ave. to W. Tulpehocken St.

• SW on W. Tulpehocken St. to end at the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion.

Queen Anne (1886-89)

Designed by Architect GW Hewitt and built by Henry Houston (an owner of Pennsylvania RR and a main developer of NW Philadelphia). In 1905 the house was renovated to include a rear addition and a driveway.


Find/Learn

• Wissahickon schist stone walls

• Asymmetrical design with steeply pitched roofs

• Large porches on both floors

• Ornate bay with plaster fleur-de-lis

• Decorative shingles

• Fanlight above the 3rd floor balcony

• Painted Lady colors compliment the woodwork


→ Continue SW on W. Tulpehocken St.

Queen Anne (ca 1886 )

This house is much like 258 W. Tulpehocken—but slightly less decorative.


Find/Learn

• Wissahickon schist stone walls

• Turned columns supporting second floor balcony

• Exposed rafters on second floor porch ceiling

• Pedimented entry gable with decorative lattice work

• Patterned slate roof

• Lantern (cupola) on roof


→ Continue SW on W. Tulpehocken St., cross Wayne Ave and head down the hill to the Tulpehocken Train Station.

The Tulpehocken Station (opened 1884)

Designed by architects William Bleddyn Powell and William Brown. The building was closed circa 1978, and nearly demolished in 1982. West Central Germantown Neighbors (WCGN) opposed the destruction. In 2007 WCGN established a committee to salvage the deteriorating building. With the cooperation of SEPTA, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Federal Stimulus Act, over $700,000 was spent to thoroughly restore the structure to its original condition. Work continues to raise funds to return the building to an active use. Around 2012, WCGN, with the cooperation of SEPTA and the Philadelphia Orchard Project, established a garden next to the station house.


Find/Learn

• Symmetrical building

• Gabled dormers

• Extended porch roof circles the building


→ Head back up the hill, cross Wayne Ave and make a right (head SE on Wayne Ave).

Queen Anne (1886-89)

In 1884, Henry Houston, a champion of the railroad line (and the Tulpehocken Station), ordered 6129, 6135, 6143 Wayne Ave. to be built by the contractor William Mackie. The architecture is attributed to architect George Hewitt.


Find/Learn

• Three-story Wissahickon schist

• Double columns supporting wrap-around veranda

• Polygonal tower with wide windows and drip moldings (a Gothic holdover)

• Conical roof on tower with tall dormers and eye-brow dormer

• Arched stone lintels

• Exposed brick work in gable at side façade where chimney intersects roof

• Decorative corbeled chimney with terra cotta insets

• Shingle main roof

• Arched gable cutout in side (East) façade


→ Continue SE on Wayne Ave.

Queen Anne (1886-89)

The second of the three houses ordered by Henry Houston.


Find/Learn

• Three-story Wissahickon schist

• Fish scales and wavy wood siding

• Shingle main roof

• Two-story wrap around veranda with spindles and brackets

• Columns are mixed (original was probably the turned post at end)

• Exposed rafters in ceiling of veranda

• Pedimented gable entry with lattice decoration

• Exposed brick work in gable at side façade where chimney intersects roof

• Arched gable cutout in side façade

• Rondele window on third floor


→ Continue SE on Wayne Ave.

Queen Anne (1886-89)

The third of the three houses ordered by Henry Houston.


Find/Learn

• Three-story Wissahickon schist

• First and second floor verandas have been removed

• Third-floor wood siding not original due to veranda removal

• Pedimented entry gable with lattice

• Arched gable cutout on east façade

• Rondele window on third floor


→ Continue SE on Wayne Ave. to Walnut Ln. Make a left (head NE on Walnut Ln.)

Georgian Revival (1889)

Built for William Shelmerdine, president of the Edison Portland Cement Co. Architects Rankin and Kellogg.


Find/Learn

• Concrete structure, clad in brick using Flemish bond

• Quoined corners

• Pennsylvania Blue marble stringcourse (between first and second floors)

• Window openings are spanned with brick jack arches (flat on the bottom) and incorporate marble keystones

• Wings project beyond the central body flank (the main body)

• Slate roof, hipped with pedimented dormer windows and symmetrically placed brick chimneys

• Eaves (at roofline) are trimmed in a wooden dentiled cornice

• A centralized swan’s neck pediment with cartouche resides over the entry pavilion

• A fanlight transom is included in the front entry

• Side porch with classical details including Ionic columns


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

Queen Anne (ca 1890)

Notice that this house was built on a narrow lot with the plan turned sideways.


Find/Learn

• Granite horse post and dismounting stone

• Three earth tone colors complement the schist stone

• Jack arch stone lintels with keystones

• Wood cornice with decorative brackets and projecting eaves

• Roof includes both scalloped and rectangular slate shingles

• Chimneys have alternating bands of brick and Wissahickon schist

• Radiused wrap around porch with turned wood balusters and lattice work

• Leaded glass windows


South façade (entry)

• Central bay with large Dutch door

• Large Romanesque stone arch

• Large stone bay with recessed corner windows on first floor

• Third floor arched stone balcony with wrought iron rail


East façade

• Polygonal turret with conical roof and polygonal slate shingles

• Semi-circular veranda


West Façade

• Semi-circular veranda with lattice work skirt

• Three-story round tower with recessed windows on second floor

• Double bell shaped roof interrupts main gable

• Whimsical finials on bell roofs


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

Queen Anne (ca 1890)

Note that the three floors are created in different materials—the first floor is Wissahickon schist, the second floor is brick, and the third floor is wood (fish scales)


Find/Learn

• Shingle roof

• Corbelled brick chimney

• Veranda—stone piers with half columns

• Pedimented gable entry on diagonal with double columns


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

Queen Anne (ca 1890)

Two stories of schist, while the top level is detailed in scalloped shingles.


Find/Learn

• Double hung windows with arched brick lintels (on the left)

• Barrel vault with decorative inset above large wrap around porch

• Corbelled brick chimney

• Classical columns on stone piers

• Leaded glass


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

Spanish Jacobean style

This large, stuccoed home has distinctive Richardsonian Romanesque overtones is a sophisticated structure which took advantage of the freedom offered in the highly eclectic Victorian period


Find/Learn

• terracotta tile roof


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

Gothic Revival (c 1856)

This English castle, attributed to Samuel Sloan, represents the quintessential Victorian image of country living.


Find/Learn

• Asymmetrical Wissahickon schist structure with battlement tower

• Windows are varied in design, and include gothic arched, tracery casement, Palladian style and decorative leaded glass

• Gothic arched doors with a compound arched portal and gingerbread bargeboard enhances the gable end


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

The first international “suburban” house in Germantown (1850)

The original house was four rooms over four rooms, over four rooms, with a wooden kitchen on the back.


Find/Learn

• Central chimney (provided the home’s central heat)

• Decorative Italianate elements (added after original construction—perhaps in response to the ornate Victorian and Gothic houses being built around it)


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

Gothic Italianate (c 1858)

Attributed to John Riddell, the structure is primarily Italianate, but has elements of both Gothic and Italianate. This house was built for Frederick Van Dyke (though he only resided in the home for a few years).


Find/Learn

• This six bay facade is made primarily of Wissahickon schist

• Rounded and triangular arched windows with stone lintels

• Gothic roof (with italianate projecting eaves and projecting pedimented cornice)


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

French Second Empire

Excellent example of three-story twins.


Find/Learn

• Slate concave mansard roofs

• Window dormers have a barrel vaulted roof over them

• Heavy bracketed cornice line

• Windows are tall and arched

• Projecting bay parlors


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

Italianate (c 1854)—turned Colonial Revival (1905)

Built by Germantown resident Mantle Fielding, this house was initially an Italianate, but was remodeled in 1905 in a Colonial Revival style.


Ebenezer Maxwell lived here before he built his Mansion at Greene and Tulpehocken Streets.


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

French Second Empire

Wissahickon schist home with hexagonal slate mansard roof pierced and dormer windows.


Find/Learn

• Grand with a pedimented door surround flanked by classic columns

• Projecting bay parlors flank the home and the split staircase to the entrance


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

Georgian Revival

This residence is a very simple Georgian with a cedar shake gambrel roof and pedimented dormers.


Find/Learn

• One story portico supported by Doric columns

• Ornamental door with fanlight spanning the door and sidelights

• Simple, non-decorative cornices

• Windows with Voissoirs and Gerorgian tracery can be seen on the side façade


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

Georgian Revival (1899)

Designed by local architect Mantle Fielding, this two story house is made of local stone beneath a hipped roof.


Find/Learn

• Projecting portico supported by wooden Doric columns

• Second story bay with full height windows projects onto the portico roof surrounded by a balustrade

• Central bay is capped by a pedimented gable, supported by pairs of wooden Ionic columns

• A dentiled cornice trims the roofline and continues around the pediment

• Attic dormers grace the roof with extended keystones in wooden arches enclosing tracery Georgian windows


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

French 2nd Empire

Excellent example of three-story twins.


Find/Learn

• Concave mansard roof made of hexagonal slate (with arched window dormers)

• Heavy bracketed cornice line

• Tall, arched windows

• Projecting bay parlors made with local stone


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln.

French 2nd Empire

Another excellent example of three-story twins (much like 51-53 W. Walnut Ln.).


Find/Learn

• Concave mansard roof made of hexagonal slate (with arched window dormers)

• Heavy bracketed cornice line

• Tall, arched windows

• Projecting bay parlors made with local stone


→ Continue NE on Walnut Ln. Make a left on Germantown Ave.

French 2nd Empire

Settlement Music School is made of local granite.


Find/Learn

• Corner quoins with carved flower detail

• Mansard roof with heavy bracketed cornice line

• Elaborate dormers with a bracketed gable and molded surrounds are flanked by classic columns

• Projecting central bay with a keystoned arched entry

• Beltcourse of granite between the first and second floor

• Granite pillars and curbs at the street level


→ Continue NW on Germantown Ave. make a left on W. Tulpehocken St.

The Queens House (1851)

Under threat by annihilists, and seeking refuge from them in America, Queen Isabella II of Spain had this house commissioned. (the troubles were eventually cleared up, and it became unnecessary for her to leave the throne).


→ Continue SW on W. Tulpehocken St.

Text to come


→ Continue SW on W. Tulpehocken St. to the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion.

Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion (1859)

We hope you enjoyed the Tulpehocken Historic District walking tour. Now come inside for a tour and learn all about the Mansion that Ebenezer built.