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“Idlewild,” Frank Furness Cottage

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1888, Frank Furness. Idlewild Ln. at Idlewild Circle

Manchester Road leads south from Media toward William L. Price's utopian community of Rose Valley ( DE26), passing on the way the scattered remains of a small resort centered originally on a hotel with private cottages on the grounds. Frank Furness's gift of architectural caricature is evident in his whimsical summer cottage, designed during the course of the construction of the University of Pennsylvania's library ( PH147.3). It is not far from his brother's cottage in Wallingford, also by Furness, but largely demolished. His brother, Shakespearian scholar Horace Howard Furness, headed the library committee for the university and presumably was amused by Frank's adaptation of the allegedly highly specific plan of the library as his house. The rounded end contains a living room surrounded by a porch (in lieu of the reading room and alcoves of the library), with the stair, indicated by mid-level windows, and the kitchen and dining room beyond. Above the brick base, Furness shifted to suburban shingle with sleeping porches on the private downhill side.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "“Idlewild,” Frank Furness Cottage", [Media, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 224-224.

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