Originally called “Overlea," this structure was built as a private residence for Mr. David Pepper and his family in 1893 and was not part of the Morris estate. Built by Wilson Eyre Jr., a well known residential architect of the time, it brought national attention to Philadelphia’s suburban architecture. The window variations, classical motifs and human figures seen in the ornamental details were typical of Eyre’s work. In 1948 the building was purchased by the Arboretum and re-named for Thomas Sovereign Gates, a former University of Pennsylvania President, who was instrumental in establishing the Arboretum. Gates Hall was acquired as an administration building and laboratory and it is still used in that fashion today.
The Holiday Garden Railway is not running today due to the rain.
The lower portion of the Rose Garden will be closed due to renovations to the turf after a long, hot, dry summer with record attendance. The top gate will be open to allow for visual access, just not foot traffic. While we will hope to reopen quickly, some variables are unpredictable. We look forward to welcoming visitors back on our newly restored Rose Garden turf soon.
Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.
Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.