Mansion recognized in national register

By Amanda Carson
October 29, 2009

Shannon Keough

The Cabrini College Mansion has served as the iconic representation of the College for 50 years. Its distinct architectural design has been recognized not only for the College itself, but also for the nation.

Recently, the Woodcrest Estate Mansion was named to the National Register of Historic Places, which includes the nation’s most famous buildings.

“It’s the nation’s places that are worthy of recognition,” Paloma Bolasny, historian with the National Register of Historic Places, said.

The Mansion was one of approximately 1,200 buildings to be added each year to the register. To date there are 85,000 buildings total, comprising the register.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission’s Board for Historical Preservation recommended the Mansion for inclusion. The College sent a nomination to the board, which was later reviewed and accepted.

“It’s a very good execution of a Tudor-revival style in Delaware County,” Keith Heinrich, Pennslyvania Historical Preservation specialist, said.

“Basically it had integrity.”

The Mansion was not only recognized for its architectural style, “but also because of its influence on the surrounding community and Cabrini College’s respectful stewardship of that heritage,” Howard Holden, director of facilities, said.

It was also chosen since it was home to two great regional families, the Pauls and Dorrances.

Built between 1901 and 1903, it was one of the first country houses to be built in the Philadelphia area by famed architect Horace Trumbauer. It was designed with the intent to give the impression that it had survived many generations.

Trumabuer also designed the world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art.

“At first sight the building strikes the eye as a significant work of superb architecture,” Holden said.

Two years ago the building underwent significant reservations in an effort to restore its interior. “The building’s fireplaces, floors and panels were refinished and new carpets, furnishings and window dressings were installed,” Holden said.

While it used to serve as a primary residential building, it is now home to several administrative offices which include the Office of the President, Institutional Advancement, Alumni Affairs, the Business Office and Marketing and Communications. ?It has also hosted many ceremonial events.

To its students, however, past and present, it individually represents something different.

“The second thing I remember about The Mansion was the induction ceremony held there for Alpha Sigma Lambda, which recognizes the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work.

Amanda Carson

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