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.
Parking Lot Closed September 21, 22 and 23.
Morris Arboretum’s parking lot is being repaved September 21, 22 and 23. Our parking lot is a demonstration lot for its sustainability. Installed 25 years ago as one of the first of its kind, the parking lot has filtered into the earth about 31,863,304 gallons of precipitation from the Wissahickon watershed. But the time has come for it to be renewed.
The entire parking lot will be closed September 21, 22 and 23. Auxiliary parking will be available at the bottom of the hill (near the kiosk) and shuttle service will be provided to the top of the hill. ADA access will be limited. No buses will be permitted beyond the kiosk.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are committed to keeping our parking lot sustainable and our visitors safe. Thanks for your patience.The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.
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.