In Photos: See Ravenhill Mansion, a Historic Jewel on East Falls Campus
Steeped in history, Jefferson’s Ravenhill Mansion is one of the most picturesque spots on our East Falls Campus. See slideshow below.
Parts of the building may date back to 1802 (as noted by a building marker), but by 1844, William Weightman owned the Mansion. He was a partner in the firm Powers and Weightman, a chemical supply manufacturing company, and one of the richest men in Pennsylvania during the time.
Ravenhill underwent major renovations in 1876 and 1887 with noted Philadelphia architect Willis Gaylord Hale involved in much of the work.
After Weightman’s death in 1904, the property went to his daughter, Anne Weightman, a philanthropist named “one of the wealthiest women in the world” by The New York Times.
She gave the estate to the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1910, and nine years later, the Archdiocese granted it to an order of nuns, the Religious of the Assumption. They opened a private girls’ school, which eventually became known as Ravenhill Academy. Before her rise to fame, actress Grace Kelly attended school here for several years. Corazon Aquino, former president of the Philippines, also went to Ravenhill.
In 1982, Jefferson—then Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science—purchased the school and surrounding 27 acres. The Mansion, now lined with pictures of the University through the decades, presently houses classrooms and administrative and faculty offices.