The historic house at the Knights of Pythias Greenwood Cemetery in Juniata-Northwood was built between 1830 and 1850, according to new studies released jointly by the cemetery owner and the Philadelphia Historical Commission.

The “period of significance” of the stucco clad stone house will guide architects in its restoration. While the top priority is ensuring the structural integrity and exterior work, the interior also will be renovated to the same historically significant 19th century period. The restored two-story structure will, for instance, feature an open front porch, replacing the current porch enclosed in the mid- to late-20th century.

The site is a registered Philadelphia Historic Landmark located at 930 Adams Avenue bordered by Ramona and Castor Avenues.

Findings confirm the historic nature of the property and are consistent with previous findings that indicate Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, owned the property. Rush, however, could not have occupied what has often been called the Benjamin Rush House, since he died in 1813.

The Philadelphia Historical Commission concurs with the findings of the Milner + Carr LLC report and the period of significance in the EwingCole report.

The architectural analysis, a requirement before registered historic landmarks can be restored, was conducted by preservationists at EwingCole and confirmed independently by Milner + Carr who investigated the building at the request of the PHC.

Both analyses concluded that the design, technologies and materials used to construct the building – including nails not used until the 1820s, wood screws characteristic of the 1830s and wooden lath and joists cut with a type of circular saw not used until the 1830s – are all indicative of a building constructed between 1830 and 1850. That physical evidence, combined with a dendrochronology analysis of the timbers by Columbia University, provides a likely date of 1834 for the timbers.  AIA Philadelphia.