University City Historical Society

Woodland Terrace

501–519, 500–520 Woodland Terrace

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places March 16, 1972

Woodland Terrace was designed by Samuel Sloan and built in 1861 by Charles M. S. Leslie, a speculative builder. Sloan was a major figure in American architecture and is remembered chiefly for his many hospitals, asylums, and Philadelphia schools, but is perhaps most widely known as the designer of "Longwood," an octagonal "folly" in Natchez, Mississippi. Sloan edited the Architectural Review and Builders' Journal and wrote several builders guides, among them Homestead Architecture (1861) and The Model Architect (1866).

Woodland Terrace
Woodland Terrace

During the last half of the 1850s, Sloan designed many "terraces" for speculative builders in West Philadelphia. The majority of housing commissioned by speculators for sites in West Philadelphia was made up of two-family, semi-detached dwellings like those of Woodland Terrace. However, some of the terraces had areas entirely reserved for "mansions" which were dispersed through the rows of "double villas to relieve their monotony. As late as 1955, many examples of Sloan-designed speculative developments were extant in the West Philadelphia area. However, in recent years the growth of the University of Pennsylvania has spelled their doom.

For many years, the prominent Philadelphia architect Paul N. Cret owned and occupied 516 Woodland Terrace.

Woodland Terrace is a charming block of Italianate houses, a quiet tree-lined street which still retains its Victorian character. It is one of two remaining "terraces" of speculative houses (the other being nearby Hamilton Terrace, also designed by Sloan) built during the boom period of West Philadelphia's development

This National Register Nomination was researched and prepared by Mary C. Means.

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