The Woodlands’ 54-acre undulating landscape is at once a one-of-a-kind 18th-century English pleasure garden, 19th-century rural cemetery, and a modern green oasis for its neighbors in bustling University City and West Philadelphia. The Woodlands was designated a National Historic Landmark District in recognition of its unique history and rich resources. Actively used today, the cemetery, mansion, landscape, and programs are an educational resource for local school children, community residents, university students, as well as for a small, highly motivated cadre of scholars seeking further understanding of American architectural and botanical history, urban development, and the origin and growth of West Philadelphia.

Today, our mission is to enrich the lives of area residents and visitors by serving as a hub for activities and educational programs that interpret, celebrate and make available to the public The Woodlands’ historic buildings and tranquil green space.


...Whereby the beautiful landscape and scenery of that situation (Hamilton’s Estate) may be perpetually preserved, and its ample space for the free circulation of air, and groves of trees afford a security against encroachments upon the dead, and health and solace to the living.

---Articles of Incorporation of The Woodlands Cemetery Company, 1840

Our Community Partners

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University 
Bartram's Garden

Curio Theatre Company
James G. Kaskey Memorial Park and Biology Greenhouses
St. Francis de Sales Parish & School
Philadelphia Orchard Project
UC Green
University City Arts League
University City District                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            University of Pennsylvania
University of the Sciences

Recent Press 

Grave Gardeners: Volunteers help spiff up old cemeteries, Associated Press
May 22, 2019

A Fine And Public Space: Preservationists Revive Philadelphia’s Historic Cemeteries As Vibrant Spaces For The Living, Hidden City Philadelphia
May 21, 2019

The New Art Galleries: Urban Cemeteries, CityLab
April 18, 2019

To Bring in New Blood, Historic Cemeteries Get Creative with Yoga, Dog Walks, and Picnics, The Philadelphia Inquirer
March 7, 2019

A Year Gardening the Grave of a StrangerAtlas Obscura
July 6, 2017

Grave Gardening: Tending more than just flowers, CBS Sunday Morning
April 22, 2017

West Philadelphia Cemetery Welcomes Community Gardeners, NPR
May 14, 2017

Dig It! How To Be A Grave Gardener: Woodlands Cemetery volunteers connect history and horticultureThe Philadelphia Inquirer (PDF)
January 13, 2017

The Citizen Recommends: Cemeteries As Community SpacesThe Philadelphia Citizen
January 10, 2017

Woodlands Rebirth: Backers aim to restore historic W. Phila. estate, The Philadelphia Inquirer (PDF)                                                                                 January 6, 2015

 Martha and The Lost, WHYY Friday Arts                                                                                                                                                                                       January 2015

Historic Philadelphia mansion leaves imprint on Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Signature of All Things,' NewsWorks
October 8, 2013

Estate of Mind: Earthly pleasures in Gilbert's new novel, The Philadelphia Inquirer (PDF)
September 27, 2013

Ailanthus Tree's Status as Invasive Species Offers Lesson in Human Interaction, Science Daily
June 24, 2013

The Woodlands, Tour America's Treasures
March 20, 2013

Seeking refuge, finding perspective, The Philadelphia Inquirer 
January 28, 2013

Telling of trees: the Ginkgo, NewWorks 
January 24, 2013

Face-Lift at The WoodlandsHidden City Philadelphia
November 3, 2011

HMP to Renovate Woodlands Facade, Hidden City Philadelphia
October 20, 2011

Woodlands Digging for Direction, Hidden City Philadelphia
October 18, 2011

The Woodlands, then and now, PlanPhilly
February 17, 2009

For a comprehensive list of Press and Press Releases, visit our Press Archive


© 2014 The Woodlands 
4000 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104