Abdu'l-Baha at the Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia, June 1912

Abdu'l-Baha at the Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia, June 1912

When Abdu’l-Baha toured the United States in 1912, he spent time at 1429 Mayfield Street in Philadelphia — home to Mary Revell and her two daughters, Jessie and Ethel. 

This was the only Baha’i home in Philadelphia that Abdu'l-Baha visited.

And while the Master visited the private homes of many early American Baha’is, only four of them are now owned by the American Baha’i community. The Revell house is one of them. Hand of the Cause Rahmatu’llah Muhajir called it “the holiest site in Philadelphia.”

In 2003, the Local Spiritual Assembly of Philadelphia purchased the property, which had become derelict. With permission from the National Spiritual Assembly we are now raising the necessary funds to fully restore the house to its original condition, when Abdu’l-Baha visited.

With your help, the Revell house is destined to become a place for reflection, gathering and pilgrimage.

The local Baha’i community has already raised nearly $53,000. But to complete the restoration we need another $157,000.

L to R: The Revell house prior to its dilapidated state; Mary Revell in front of her house; the Revell family, with Mary in the center; sisters Ethel and Jessie Revell in 1951; Jessie at the Shrine of the Bab, 1924; Jessie in the Holy Land around 1964.

Latest News

 

November 2015
• Installed: new windows and frames (except for sealing and trims remain); Typar house wrap over north and west walls under siding; fiber cement siding; laundry door; roof shingles.

• Repaired and stabilized: kitchen exterior window header and kitchen door header.


September 2 - November 5, 2015
• Contractor removed windows, protected the openings with temporary cover, and prepared for installation of new windows and door.

September 1, 2015
• A dilapidated house and a large tree at the rear of the site were removed by the city.


August 28, 2015
• Completed: Basement stairs railing



August 2015

• Completed: 1st floor new partitions framing, 2nd floor room 3 exterior wall furring and insulation, and room 5 furring. 


June + July 2015

• Contractor cleaned up debris from basement work; removed and catalogued baseboards and door and window trims.


March 2015

• Basement floor level lowered for headroom clearance 

• new concrete floor slab completed


February 2015

Window Selection and Procurement:

Property managers contacted several window manufacturers since early 2015 to get quotes and compare the quality and types of windows best suited for period design.  After careful evaluation Pella Windows provided the most flexibility and options for trim and right finishes.  Most existing broken and deteriorated windows are beyond repairs and a complete replacement is necessary. The window manufacturer representatives have been to the site meeting with the Contractor and Property Managers to finalize the profile and the trims accessories.  The order is being made. 

Historic Paint Analysis:

John Milner Associates, a Historic Preservation Specialist was retained to perform paint analysis to determine the original finish of the doors and window trims as well as floors and masonry and provide finish recommendations.

Framing of new walls on first floor.

Furring and insulation of exterior walls.

Basement: new concrete floor slab.

Paint and color analysis by a specialist.

Doors and trims removed

Paint and color analysis by a specialist.


January 2015 - Construction Log

  • Roof underlayment of the addition is installed.
  • Wall, roof framing, and sheathing with insulation completed.

  • Building wrap of the laundry room completed. 

  • Parging of basement walls still in progress.

  • Architects took measurements of completed new work; visited and contacted several window manufacturers; and sent revised schedule to each. Awaiting quotes from manufacturers for upgraded windows and doors.

 


December 27, 2014 - UPDATE

The Phoenix Assembly graciously allowed Massoud and Roya, as Philadelphia Baha'i Community representatives, to make a short five-minute presentation about the Revell House at the Grand Canyon Baha'i Conference in Phoenix, AZ, during the Saturday morning general session. The Assembly also provided a table at the main hall where photos and information about the Revell House were displayed. Roughly 200 Revell House leaflets were distributed during the three-day conference. Contacts were made with the LSAs of Phoenix and Scottsdale as well. The display is left in Scottsdale for further use.


December 2014 - Construction Log

  • Architects visited the site. Concrete slab is near completion with wire mesh and vapor barrier. The under slab drain pipes were roughed in. The Basement wall parging in progress.

  • A construction progress meeting was held at the Baha'i Center with the contractor to discuss the work and next milestone. 

Contact 

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact: revellhousefund@gmail.com.