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Interior Renovations Project


Top: Third-floor garret space 20th century bathroom, garret space after construction

Middle: new kitchen under construction, new kitchen after construction

Bottom: Pantry space with 20th century public bathroom, after construction with wall removed

Telling a More Inclusive Story

In September 2021, the Naomi Wood Trust received a matching grant from the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) to help fund interior renovations to Woodford Mansion rooms that were used as living and work spaces by the enslaved African or indentured European servants. The project, completed in April 2024, restored two rooms in the second and third floors to their eighteenth century appearance, removing twentieth century changes to the spaces. These changes provide a historically accurate and well-rounded understanding of life in Colonial and Federal America and help to tell the story of enslavement and abolition in Pennsylvania in the eighteenth century. 


The two restored rooms are a third floor garret space, believed to have been originally used as a sleeping quarters for the enslaved African and other servants, and a second floor room that would have served as a pantry or staging area. This pantry would have been used by servants while cleaning the Mansion’s second floor or bringing items up and down the narrow servant’s stair from Woodford’s old kitchen to the second floor ballroom and other spaces used by Woodford’s owners. In the twentieth century, the third floor garret space was converted for use as storage, and before that, as a bedroom and bathroom for a housekeeper who worked for Woodford's first Trustee, Daniel Huntoon.The second floor room had been converted into a public restroom in the late 1920s.


The restoration of these spaces to their eighteenth century appearance opens up two new rooms for public viewing and supports the Trust’s mission by providing additional space for the acquisition and display of 18th-century American decorative art or functional “household gear."Reproduction clothing will eventually be displayed along with the furnishings in this room that would replicate the attire worn by two enslaved African men who worked for Woodford's third owner, David Franks. The second floor public restroom has been moved to a space in Woodford’s twentieth century kitchen, which has been renovated to accommodate the addition of a new public restroom. The new kitchen and accessible restroom will support public events and provide a more functional and modern kitchen for Woodford's caretakers and guides.

To learn more about the research behind the Interior Renovations Project, watch the recording of our Interior Renovations Zoom Presentation by Curator and Site Manager Jeff Duncan. The additional two videos below are historic interpretations filmed in the new garret space by Carol Spacht and Keith Henley.

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