Case Study: Ebenezer Maxwell House
Mansions in the late 19th century and early 20th century were built in an era when eclecticism was popular because it allowed the owner to show off their wealth and status with a building that looked like it came from the classical era. This is also the era when suburbs became popular because of technologies that helped the owners get around as well as build quickly. Owners had these buildings built quickly and cheaply because of the new technologies such as the railroad, and new immigrants from Europe who where masters at carving stones into what the owners wanted. The Ebenezer Maxwell House mansion is a prime example of an eclecticism mansion built in 1859 by Joseph C. Hoxie.
Hoxie built this mansion that currently resides on 200 West Tulpehocken Street, Philadelphia for a textile factory owner Ebenezer Maxwell. Maxwell used his home to showcase his line of work which was used in every room in his house in the carpet, drapery, and staircase. He would have parties and clients over to show them his house which helped showcase his line of work and to do business with them. He tried to make people what he had so that they would buy his textiles and further promote his business. (cite maybe) Even though it seemed Maxwell was going well, houses like these where cheep and easy to afford at this time. Railroads, factories, and a lot of immigrants from Europe meant that there was an excess of materials and skills to mass product fine qualities of work (cite). As you drive around Germantown today, and look at the buildings, like Maxwell’s mansion and other around it, you will begin to see that there are many parts that seem almost identical. This is simply because the same craftsmen built these buildings and they all pretty much used the same type of asymmetry floor plan to organize their plan (Diagram 1).
All of the owners in this area (possibly find other owner in area, census) were semi-wealthy... [continues]
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