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Woodcrest Estate History and Cabrini College


 

WOODCREST MANSION

 Completed in 1902

Woodcrest was first the  residence of James W. Paul, Jr. who commissioned Horace Trumbaur, well known Philadelphia architect, to design his country estate.  The mansion's terraced front looked over Radnor Valley. 


 

Woodcrest front

Mr. Paul's wife, Frances Drexel, was deceased at the time the house was built.  Her father's financial firm was Mr. Paul's place of employment.  The three Paul children and their father entertained at Woodcrest in Main Line fashion, as did many of their surrounding neighbors.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

          In 1925, Mary Paul Munn sold Woodcrest estate to the  family of Dr. John T. Dorrance.  Dr. Dorrance, at the time, was President of Campbell Soup Company where, earlier, he had developed the method of condensing soup. 

The east end side porch (shown at left) was enclosed  as a breakfast room for  Dr. Dorrance soon after the family moved in.

 

 

 

Tapestries were part of the Dorrance's decor.

 

 


 

 

Trumbaur, the architect of Woodcrest Estate, decorated the mansion, gatehouse and stable complex with grotesques such as shown at left.  They are limestone figures generally giving an  idea  of the interests of the family or of the area.  The collection of Woodcrest Estate grotesques suggests a hunting  theme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Informational Sources:

Buzbee, J. (1984, June/July).  Cabrini College - a work of art. Brandywine, p. 9-11.

Cabrini celebrates 30 years.  (1988, March 17).  Main Line Times; Looking around Radnor.

Thomas, G.E. (1983).  Woodcrest Farms; an estate in the English tradition. Brochure commissioned by Cabrini College Alumni Association.

 

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   Last revision:  February 8, 2009


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