History of the Writers House building

The Writers House, located at 3805 Locust Walk, was built in 1851, as part of a Victorian suburban development project by S.A. Harrison. Since then, it has been carefully altered, and it still retains its character as a Gothic cottage.

The building was designed by Samuel Sloan, a key mid-century Philadelphia architect and one of the principal popularizers of ornamental design. In West Philadelphia, he worked for a number of developers. Included among his wide-ranging works are the grand Italianate houses on Woodland Terrace and the small Gothic houses which were developed as part of "Hamilton Village" (with Saint Mary's as its church).

Now, the Writers House is one of the oldest buildings on campus, and certainly the oldest on the west side. It and the Kappa Alpha Fraternity to its east are among the oldest houses still standing in West Philadelphia. Proposed renovations to this site plan are in progress, to make the house accessible to use by Penn's writing community while preserving the beauty and history of this rare treasure.

Thank you to David Brownlee for his comments.