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“Older Homes and Gardens”: Guided Walking Tour of East Park’s Historic Houses

Join us for a special walking tour of three of East Park’s historic houses and gardens.


Sunday, July 31, 2022


3:00pm - 6:00pm


Woodford Mansion
2300 N. 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19132

Join us for a special walking tour of three of East Park’s historic houses with award-winning gardens: Ormiston Mansion, Woodford Mansion, and Historic Strawberry Mansion!

The “Park Charms” – Fairmount Park’s unique grouping of colonial homes get much attention for the antique collections contained within their walls, yet few people realize their grounds are home to gorgeous gardens, thanks to resident caretakers, staff, and volunteers. In fact, all three of the houses featured on this tour have won the PHS Blue Ribbon Award for their distinctive garden designs!

These mansions were built in the mid to late 18th century as rural retreats to escape the claustrophobic confines of the city, and therefore always had bountiful gardens. For example, when Woodford was sold in 1769, it was advertised in the Pennsylvania Gazette as having “…a handsome Garden, a thriving Orchard of good Apple Trees and other Fruit, and a Well of excellent water.” We will go on a guided walk through these lush green spaces that pay homage to their colonial past while beautifying the present.

The houses’ head gardeners Claire Passantino (Ormiston), Jaime Davenport (Woodford), and D. Eric Murphy (HSM) will greet the group at each stop to share their garden plans and answer your questions. And of course, on top of getting gardening tips, you’ll learn about the history of the houses and their occupants.

The tour will end with hors d’oeuvres and samples of wine in Woodford’s garden!

TICKET PRICES:  Pay what you can – $20, $25, or $30
[ Not sure what to pay? Please refer to this Sliding Scale Pricing FAQ for additional info. ] 

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS: If Philadelphia’s parks make a difference in your life – consider becoming a member of Fairmount Park Conservancy and help ensure that Philadelphia’s parks are enhanced for generations to come. PLUS members register first for events and enjoy discounts on park experiences including Treetop Quest, Shofuso and more!


  • This tour is about 2.5 miles on flat parkland/pathways, which can accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices (that can handle grass)
  • Appropriate for Adults and families with children ages 6 & up. Minors must be registered and accompanied by an adult
  • Please wear comfortable shoes
  • Please dress according to weather conditions.
  • Please bring your own water and snacks (drinking water is not available in the park)
  • Friendly dogs on a leash are welcome, however they are not permitted inside any park houses
  • There are porta-potties available along the tour route

There is plenty of free parking available in the park. As always, NEVER leave valuables in your car!

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS:  By registering for this event you are agreeing to follow ALL of these protocols:

  • This event has limited capacity. Please only register if you fully intend to attend and let us know if you need to cancel ASAP.
  • Participants must maintain 6 feet of distance from one another during the event.
  • Please bring a mask. We encourage you to wear it if you’re in proximity to others.
  • If you or anyone in your household are exhibiting COVID-19 systems, please stay home.

This event will take place in light rain. In the event of heavy rain or other severe conditions, the event will be canceled and attendees are eligible for a full refund.