University City Historical Society

Historic Paul Robeson House

4951 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places November 22, 2000

The Paul Robeson House in the Walnut Hill community of West Philadelphia, where he lived from 1966 to 1976 with his sister Marian Forsythe, is now a certified Pennsylvania historic landmark.

For the past year, the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, through its Historic Places Program, has been advising the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance in the development of a multi-phase strategy for the restoration of the house.

"The Robeson House will be an extraordinary addition to this region's unparalleled collection of historic sites; a place that tells a unique story of the 20th century and one of the century's most compelling individuals," said Michael Stern, Director of Technical Services for the Alliance.

The Robeson House is an important emerging historic museum, according to Stern. "Being in the space where Paul Robeson spent the last years of his life is a moving experience, one that is critical to preserve and to interpret to a broad public," he said.

"The house helps to tell a powerful story, not just of Paul Robeson, whose presence 22 years after his death still seems larger than life, but of his accomplished family, the reason he came to Philadelphia to spend the last years of his life. The house also tells the story of the development of West Philadelphia."

—Excerpted from University City Review, April 23, 1998. By Fran Aulston, President and Director WPCA

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