For over 70 years, The Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks has played a significant role in the historic preservation movement in Philadelphia by restoring and furnishing its distinguished house museums: Powel House, Grumblethorpe, Physick House and Historic Waynesborough.
Landmarks has an interesting history of its own. In 1931, roused by the news that the historic Powel House was to be demolished in six weeks, Frances Anne Wister and a group of strong supporters (including famous names like Biddle, Barnes, Curtis and Lippincott) founded Landmarks to save the house. The newly-formed "Landmarks" was successful despite the economic depression of the time and within another ten years had acquired Grumblethorpe in Germantown. In the late 1960’s, Ambassador and Mrs. Walter H. Annenberg restored the stately Physick House and then donated the house to Landmarks. In 1981, Landmarks entered into an agreement with Easttown Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania to administer Historic Waynesborough.
Today, Landmarks carries on the vision of Miss Wister by managing the four house museums and bringing thousands of visitors and schoolchildren each year to learn about Philadelphia’s history.
For the last decade Landmarks has served as the sponsor in the Philadelphia Region for the world-renowned Exploritas program. On average each year, Landmarks Exploritas Program attracts over 2,000 visitors to the Philadelphia Region to enjoy its many historical and cultural resources.