Preservationists Work to Raise Funds for Willows Mansion Restoration in Villanova

Image via the Archer & Buchanan architectural firm.
A rendering of how the Willows mansion in Villanova is envisioned after restoration.

The once-deteriorating Willows Mansion in Villanova is now undergoing renovation to use for weddings and public events, writes Paul Jablow for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The mansion, originally named Rose Garland, was built in 1910, designed by renowned architect Charles Barton Keen for a wealthy distillery owner’s bride.

In 2017, a local preservationist buff noticed a terra-cotta roof tile in heavy brush, and approached the Willows Park Preserve, a nonprofit group tasked with the upkeep of the mansion.

He asked what it would take to save the mansion.

Calling the mansion the “crown jewel of Radnor Township, the anonymous resident donated $1 million to restore the Willows. The Willow Park Preserve has raised $1.4 million of the $6 million needed, which includes the $1 million anonymous donation. . 

The preservation group is striving to balance historical integrity with the 21st century needs for the property.

Radnor Township bought the mansion and the adjacent 47½-acre park in 1972, but it was closed in 2012 because it was too expensive to maintain.

The hope is the restored mansion and grounds can host 25 private events a year to cover operating costs.

Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer about the restoration of the Willows mansion.

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