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238 Belmont Ave

Date of Construction: 1908
Original Architect: Clarence Clark Zantzinger
Original Owner: Percy H. Clark
Description of the Resource: Willoughby was the estate of Percy H. Clark, successful Philadelphia Lawyer, who married Elizabeth Roberts, daughter of George B. Roberts of the Pennsylvania Railroad, in 1904. Clark hired his cousin, architect Clarence Clark Zantzinger, in 1908 to build an estate on part of the Roberts tract along Belmont Avenue that he and Elizabeth had been given. The estate included the mansion, chauffeurís cottage, gardenerís cottage, barn and stables, garage and extensive landscaped gardens. The Clarks had six sons and two daughters, and the estate also housed a large staff (houseman, cook, scullery maid, chambermaid, governess, nurse, two gardeners, chauffeur and more). Clark also wanted Willoughby to be a working farm, so he staffed a farmer and outfitted the gentlemanís farm with a horse, several cows and 400 chickens. The two-and-a-half-story stone mansion is typical of the Colonial Revival style. It is completely symmetrical with a central entry flanked by two monumental pilasters and topped with a denticulated pediment. It has a denticulated cornice and flat unembellished frieze. The entryway is supported by two Ionic columns, and the first story windows have stone lintels. All windows have shutters, painted a light color on the first story and a dark color on the second story. Several additions have been made to the house, and it now serves as the Mary J. Drexel Home, an assisted living center. The original Colonial Revival stone barn still exists on the property; it is a gable-roof structure with a large front gable dormer flanked by two small shed dormers. An open entry is supported by four large piers. (10/2012) Turn of century estate built for Percy H. Clark called: Willoughby; stucco & stone Georgian Revival main house; carriage house w/stable; gardener's house; and two bay early stucco house. Was 40 acres in 1913. (Now Mary Drexel retirement Home). (88)
Class: 2
Street Classification: Primary
Name of Local Historic District: Not in a local district
Name of National Historic District: Not applicable
Reviewed By: Historical Commission
Inventory Index Number: BC041

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