The iconic Willows Mansion has a new lease and life thanks to a public/private partnership to revitalize and reimagine the mansion so it remains in perpetuity – the people’s house.
“TEAR IT DOWN? NO WAY! WAIT – REALLY?”
We see a lot of shocked expressions on the faces of community members when they hear that tearing down the Willows Mansion was a real possibility not too long ago. It was not such a crazy idea at the time. The Mansion, owned by Radnor Township and located in the idyllic Willows Park, was over a century old, costly to operate and in need of major repairs. In 2013, the decision to close the grand historic building – the site of so many memorable events, from weddings, to proms to craft shows and more – was made.
The Mansion sat shuttered and neglected for well over seven years.
Can you imagine the Willows Park without its crown jewel, the Willows Mansion, with its breath-taking view of gently rolling hills, stately trees and a picture-perfect pond? Can you imagine not utilizing this community asset for learning, exploring, growing, gathering and celebrating?
In 2017, a group of Radnor residents with a vision and passion for preserving the Mansion founded the Willows Park Preserve, a nonprofit organization whose mission was not only to physically restore the Mansion but also to reopen it for community use. In 2019, the WPP signed a 25-year lease with the Township to restore, maintain and operate the Willows Mansion for the public to use.
Over the last four years, the WPP has made steady progress toward our goals. We took big steps last year and believe 2022 showed us all just what is possible as we restore the Willows Mansion: 11 weddings/private parties, 23 educational and Health and Wellness programs/classes, 5 music concerts, 17 days of business/school/nonprofit meetings, 3 memorial receptions, 2 children’s birthday parties, 1 Eco camp, 1 Health and Wellness Festival, 1 WPP Fall Fundraiser and 1 Holiday Open House. Reopening the doors of the Mansion has allowed us to create the community connections that are so meaningful to all of us.
In addition to all of the community programs and public and private events held at the Mansion last year, we also obtained a Certificate of Occupancy by installing a fire safety system and renovated the Mansion’s first floor bathrooms, which included making one ADA compliant. We started painting the exterior of the building and also took on the daunting task of deferred maintenance, including several “behind the scenes” improvements such as air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and electric work. 10,000 square feet of home that was shuttered for over seven years requires a lot of attention!
We invite you to contact us and learn more! We are always looking to create community connections and we would love to meet you!
Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The revitalized Willows Mansion will be for daily public access and enrichment.
Spaces like the Willows are sacred and vital to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and are priceless community assets worth the investment. The ROI on this fully revitalized property is exponential.
The New Community Spaces
Garden Room & Porch
Wishing Well Circle
Fountain Wall Courtyard
Rose Garland Garden
- Nature programs for students, residents, and visitors that focus on preservation and conservation of nature in a changing climate.
- Seasonal events, festivals, and activities that encourage health and wellness, education and cultural appreciation.
- Health and wellness programs that encourage everyone from school children to seniors to get out into nature such as yoga, hikes, and walks.
- Cultural events that draw from regional talent such as concerts, puppet shows, lectures, exhibitions, and performances.
- Level I Arboretum that promotes environmental education.
- Volunteer opportunities to encourage education, engagement, and connection.
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