Built in 1924, Merion Tribute House in Merion Station was meant to honor the 81 local men who died in World War I while also serving as a social and cultural community center, writes Stacia Friedman for the Hidden City Philadelphia.
The building is nothing like the average war memorials that are usually solemn monuments people walk by without much recognition.
Instead, this regal English country manor has been hosting generations of celebrations, weddings, and corporate events over the past century.
Situated on a bucolic estate, it was constructed in an Arts and Crafts style and boasts wood-beamed ceilings, a walk-in fireplace, ballroom, and stained glass windows. Ornamental ironwork and lamps designed by master blacksmith Samuel Yellin are also among the main features.
The gorgeous manor house was commissioned by Eldridge Reeves Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company, who hired architects Walter T. Karcher and Livingston Smith to work on the memorial.
The two architects went on to win numerous awards, including for their design of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church as well as buildings on the campus of Swarthmore College.
Read more about Merion Tribute House for tributes and as a wedding venue in Hidden City Philadelphia.