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At PhilaLandmarks, when we speak of "inspiring people to engage with history" we are most excited when we can invite children and young adults into our houses to enjoy a first-hand experience. 

Grumblethorpe Elementary Education Program (GEEP)

The mission of The Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks (PhilaLandmarks) is to inspire people to engage with history by preserving our unique historic sites—Powel House, Grumblethorpe Historic House and Garden, Hill-Physick House, and Historic Waynesborough— and by providing related historical, educational and cultural programming. We believe that our city’s “preserved” history is most useful when it actively contributes toward a better present and future for every person who lives in or enters the community it serves.

Our Grumblethorpe Elementary Education Program (GEEP) presents hands-on and interactive workshops that provide strong educational support for local school curricula—both of the School District of Philadelphia and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We present creative and innovative workshop lessons at our Grumblethorpe Historic House and Gardens located at 5267 Germantown Avenue. Our ultimate goal is to provide high quality education and support in the individual development of each student in the under-served community of Germantown, Philadelphia.

The ancestral home of Philadelphia wine merchant John Wister, Grumblethorpe was built in 1744 and was occupied by four generations of this well-connected and industrious family until 1910. The property contains the historic house museum, a 2-acre garden and urban farm, a chicken, a rose garden, bee hives, a small orchard, and a high tunnel/greenhouse donated by Penn State University.

Grumblethorpe is a magical urban setting where student lessons move far beyond plants and gardening.  The history of the house and its occupants provide a wealth of context for learning. The Wisters were scientists, philanthropists, farmers, entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, theologians, pacifists, war veterans, teachers, and everyday citizens who took part in their local community and tried to improve life for those who were less fortunate.  They were acquainted with presidents, statesmen, foreign dignitaries and their neighbors.  This is the model on which all of Grumblethorpe education programs are based, with a goal of motivating and encouraging the next generation of productive citizens. This ideal is especially critical in a community such as Germantown where the children typically have limited access to outdoor play areas. To counter these realities, Grumblethorpe education programs engage participating school children in hands-on “real life” learning activities that support curriculum standards, good nutritional practices, and life-skills development.

Thank you to the Connelly Foundation, Patricia Kind Family Foundation, Widener Memorial Foundation, for your recent support of our program. 

For more information please contact:

Grumblethorpe Education Coordinator, Mackenzie Warren –

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