A Must See in Binghamton History: The Amazing Phelps Mansion
You’ve probably driven by this building a hundred times. Yest you may not know the significance of the Phelps Mansion to the history of the Binghamton area. This historic and stately mansion sits at 191 Court Street, across from St. Mary’s Church in Downtown Binghamton.
The mansion was erected in 1870 for Sherman D. Phelps for $119,000. It was the vision of Isaac G. Perry and according to the Phelps Mansion website, Perry is the same person who built this stately mansion was the architect and builder for the State Capitol Building in Albany, New York.
When Mr. Phelps passed away in 1878, the mansion passed to his two his two sons who both died shortly thereafter. The mansion was then passed to Hattie Phelps, and on her passing to relatives, and then experienced a period of sales and rentals. When the ladies of the Monday Afternoon Club took an interest in the building, J. Stewart Wells offered it to them for $25,000 and further offered to gift the organization $10,000 to “sweeten” the deal. The house was sold to the club in March 1905.
In 1967, the Binghamton Commission on Architecture and Urban Design designated this mansion a historic building and landmark. In June 1973, it was declared a national landmark and placed upon the National Register of Historic American Buildings. In 1974, its records were included in the Historic American Buildings Survey Collections deposited in the Library of Congress.
I’ve been in the mansion a half dozen times and I’m always in awe when I visit. It truly is an amazing piece of architectural history that must be seen to be believed. You will now have that opportunity.
Saturday, March 29th, there will be a “fantastic fundraiser” at the Phelps Mansion Museum. with its historic doors opening at 1:00pm. Your $5.00 admission enters you for an amazing 50 door prizes. Prizes range form $5.00 to $150.00 in value. When I have attended, I ended up buying more than one admission ticket and I won all kinds of great treasures. Members have provided 40 baskets, some filled with vintage items. Pizza, soda and water is available for $1.00 each.
Do something different and fun this Spring. Come support Binghamton’s most beautiful mansion, learn a bit about the history of this most important building and I bet you’ll walk away with something nice.