The Downing Garden

Before the Civil War, landscape gardening in America reflected the styles fostered by the English garden designers of the early Victorian Era. America’s most influential landscape gardener at this time was Andrew Jackson Downing. Downing had two main approaches to the design of the landscape garden surrounding a home – the Beautiful and the Picturesque.…

The Scott Garden

Frank Scott dedicates his book to the memory of A.J. Downing, his friend and instructor, this book is dedicated, with affectionate remembrance, by the author. Scott believed firmly in a well trimmed lawn, stating a smooth, closely shaven surface of grass is by far the most essential element of beauty on the grounds of a…

Downstairs: The Kitchen

The Maxwell kitchen was very innovative for its time with many labor-saving devices. Features include hot and cold running water, a bin for flour canisters and open shelves for ready access to kitchen utensils. The cabinets are wood grained to mimic oak; walls are the original paint color as determined by paint analysis. The kitchen…

Downstairs: The Parlor

The first floor of the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion is interpreted, in large measure, to the Maxwell years circa 1860. The furnishings and decoration are essentially those of the Civil War period. The dining room and parlor are rich with Rococo revival and Renaissance revival furniture, predominantly machine-made. Ebenezer Maxwell installed all the modern conveniences then…

Upstairs: The Hallway

The second floor is interpreted to represent the late 1870’s to 1880’s after the Centennial Celebration took place in Philadelphia in 1876 where attendees learned about exotic cultures such as the Far East and Egypt. The fashion at the time was for painted and stenciled wall decoration coupled with elaborate ceiling designs. The Mansion is…

Upstairs: The Children’s Bedroom

The children’s bedroom interprets the life of mid-nineteenth century children. Two or three children probably shared this room. Children played in this room as well as slept here. The peachy-pink color is original based on paint samples taken from the walls. Numerous toys and books in the room are mid-nineteenth century and represent the kinds…