This is the third in a series of blog posts by Jeff Groff, Director of Public Programs at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, looking at the history of Woodcrest on the Cabrini campus and its notable residents.  The Main Line Antiques Show 2014 will be held on the Cabrini campus and Jeff is a speaker in our Lecture Series during the Show weekend.

Long before the Kennedy Compound in Hyannisport became so well known, there were many families with multiple large houses on their country estates, often sharing some of the service outbuildings and recreational facilities.  This was true of the Pauls at Woodcrest.  While Mary Paul Munn and her husband occupied the large Tudor style main house, her brother A.J. Drexel Paul lived across Upper Gulph Road on part of Woodcrest Farms at an estate that he and his wife, Isabel (Biddle) named Box Hill.  Their Georgian style house, a notable example of the work of New York architect Charles Platt, dates from 1915.

Box Hill exterior 1937

Box Hill exterior 1937

The interiors were a stylish setting for family antiques, sporting art, and noteworthy paintings.   When not involved in financial matters, A.J. Drexel Paul would likely be found playing polo, fox hunting or pursuing other sports.  Although the house itself had extensive damage after a fire in the late 1940s, it was preserved and remodeled, reduced in size and made more manageable for a modern style of living.

Box Hill dining room

Box Hill dining room