Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.

Lost

For their country estates, many affluent Americans favored the Italianate style, which became es­pecially popular for suburban mansions by the mid-nineteenth century. Noted Philadelphia architect John Notman (1810-1865) designed Alverthorpe in Abington Township, Montgomery County, for Joshua Francis Fisher. One of the most distinctive features of the mansion, erected in 1850, was its unusual five-story tower. Alver­thorpe was photographed by Ian McLaughlin for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in 1937, the year it was demolished. The mansion is included in Pennsylvania Architecture: The Historic American Buildings Survey, 1933-1990, recently published by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

 

Found

Industrialist and philanthropist I.Asa Packer (1805-1879) most likely based the architectural style of his eclectic residence in Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe), on published designs by Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan (1815-1884). Built in 1852 on a hillside overlooking the Carbon County seat, the mansion is primarily Italianate in style. The mansion is capped by an octago­nal belvedere from which, legend contends, Packer would survey his vast empire. Described by HABS as “one of the best pre­served mid-nineteenth-century houses in [the] country,” the Asa Packer Mansion – also featured in Pennsylvania Architecture – is well known for its original Packer family furnishings, including highly carved furniture, unusual lighting fixtures, and extensive services of china, porcelain, and silver.