Woodcrest & Campbell’s Soup

What: Woodcrest Mansion

Where: 610 King of Prussia RD., Radnor, PA

When: July 2017

A few days ago, I drove a couple miles to the Woodcrest mansion which is now part of Cabrini College. The stately home was designed by Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer for financier, James W. Paul. Amazingly, it took only two years to build (between 1901-1903).

In 1925, the Elizabethan Tudor Revival mansion along with 120 acres was sold to chemist, Dr. John T. Dorrance (1873-1930), who invented the formula for condensed soup at the Campbell’s Soup Company in 1897. (He purchased the company from his uncle in 1914.)

I love the lone orange Adirondack chair!

It has been said that Dorrance, who was a very private man, was concerned with only two things in life: His family and soup. (The Campbell’s Soup food giant owns brands such as Prego, V8 and Pepperidge Farm.)

Last month, I wrote about Linden Hall, which Dorrance’s son, John owned at one time.

In 1953, Woodcrest was sold to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for use as an orphanage and retreat house. Four years later, the MSCs founded Cabrini College, which enrolled 47 women in its first class. At the time, the mansion served as the primary academic and resident building.

The mansion is now used for Cabrini’s administrative offices.

The mansion has 3 floors and 51 rooms (15 bedrooms). When the estate was a home, the gardens were extravagant, and designed by Paul’s nephew. The estate had stables for 60 horses, a swimming pool with bath house, tennis courts and a gate house.

The mansion is trimmed in limestone.

I walked from the south porch around toward the front entrance…

The south porch…

Next: Stepping Inside Woodcrest

4 thoughts on “Woodcrest & Campbell’s Soup

  1. It’s very similar to the Walton mansion across the street at Eastern University. The Walton mansion is said to be haunted by a young girl.

  2. Wow. I didn’t know that Cabrini college was a young school.
    As a young girl we went to a day camp that the college has in the mid 1960s called camp open.
    The pool at the college was fed by stream I do remember that the water was very cold in August.

    That is a beautiful area out there and, this is not far from Rosemont college and,Villanova.
    I was taught by the Nuns from Rosemont Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus and, both of my daughters are graduates from Rosemont I had lots of visits to the area.
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures.

    1. It was almost 100 degrees outside when I visited Woodcrest so I didn’t get a chance to walk over to the pool (if I had I would have been tempted to jump in). I wonder if the same pool is there that you swam in back in the ’60s. I’ll go back another day to see if it’s still a freshwater pool. Thanks for the neat story; it must have been nice to attend camp in such a beautiful setting.

      Rosemont is a lovely campus, how nice that both your daughters went to school there.

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