“Melmar” was built in 1910 and was the home of Nicholas and Sarah Biddle. The entry features magnificent 3 story fluted greek ionic columns that were relocated to Melmar from the “Oak Hill” mansion which was given to Sarah’s parents by her grandfather Joseph Wharton, the founder of the Wharton School of Business and Bethlehem Steel. The marble pergola in the backyard was relocated to Melmar from another Joseph Wharton mansion, “Ontalauna”, and was originally imported by Wharton into the US from Italy where it was said to be used by Roman Senators! Nicholas grew up in another nearby historic Biddle mansion, “Andalusia”, which is considered one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the United States.
Landmarks, Homes - Celebrity - Misc, Buildings - Novelty / Interesting
The Biddle’s are one of Philadelphia’s most prominent families, with family members founding businesses such as Bethlehem Steel, Bailey, Banks and Biddle, JP Morgan, Dupont, and The Union League of Philadelphia, as well as universities including the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Swarthmore, Bucknell, and Drexel University. Nicholas is a descendant of Declaration of Independence signer George Ross as well as Betsy Ross who made the first American flag. The family also had a significant military history highlighted by five US Navy ships being named USS Biddle after family members including Nicholas’s great uncle Nicholas Biddle who also appears in the video game Assassin’s Creed III as the captain of USS Randolph. Nicholas’s brother was the subject of the Disney movie “The Happiest Millionaire”.