Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Troppauer, Chelsea Elizabeth (2013). Go with the Faux: Re-Evaluating the Design of the Richardson Dilworth House. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


When elected to the office of Philadelphia's Mayor in 1956, Richardson Dilworth pledged his administration's dedication towards the physical improvement of Philadelphia. The Mayor made the revitalization of southeast quadrant of the city's core, known as Society Hill, a priority during his administration. As a symbol of his commitment, Dilworth decided to move himself and his family to the neighborhood. The Dilworths commissioned restoration architect, G. Edwin Brumbaugh. Brumbaugh designed a three and a half story, single family Colonial Revival house on the former site of two, 1840s structures. Dilworth resided in the house until his death in 1974. Discussions pertaining to the site's significance have focused narrowly on the building's associations, rather than the physical structure. This thesis investigates the design of the Richardson Dilworth House in hopes of defining its significance more broadly. Using the scholarship on the Washington Square East urban renewal area and G. Edwin Brumbaugh, the thesis examines how the design of the Dilworth House reflects the attitudes of a specific moment in city's history, and to large themes in how Philadelphia negotiates with its past.


richardson dilworth, g. edwin brumbaugh, washington square east, society hill philadelphia



Date Posted: 25 February 2014