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“Millwood,” R. Percy Alden House

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1881, Stanford White for McKim, Mead and White. Right of entrance drive to Alden Place, 100 Freeman Dr., off PA 419

To the west of the main Coleman complex, atop a small ridge and barely visible through the winter trees, stands a splendid early design by Stanford White, just after he had left H. H. Richardson's office. Built for a son-in-law of the Coleman family with New England roots, it brought the international Aesthetic movement to Cornwall. The long, narrow volume of the house is interrupted at the center by a projecting porte-cochere carried on massive piers. Lower walls are of the local brownstone and then shift to a rough-textured stucco accented with small rectangles and large stars formed of glass and pebbles, as if on a beach, a characteristic of Stanford White's earliest work. Large blocks of windows mark the stair and its landing to the left of the door and another window lights the great hall. The site was acquired by the Ladies Garment Workers of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America in 1948 as a union recreational facility. They covered the original upper halftimber portions of the house with siding but their general treatment was benign. Shortly thereafter they built changing rooms and recreational facilities on the grounds that were named for Sidney Hillman, the late president of the garment workers’ union (all demolished). Modern in style and economical in construction, they were suggestive of the hand of Philadelphia's preeminent union architect and free modernist Louis Magaziner. The site is being adapted as an over-fifty-five housing development and Millwood is to be restored. It is safe to say that there is no more remarkable building in the county and few of such quality in the state.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "“Millwood,” R. Percy Alden House", [Lebanon, 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, 334-335.

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