Trading Compton for 'Two Lines'


I'm too young to remember the mansion at Compton, but I know people who attended events there before it was demolished in 1968. Wish I'd seen it. Isn't it marvelous? John and Lydia Morris bought the 26 acres for their estate in Chestnut Hill that became the Morris Arboretum 125 years ago, in 1887. Brother John and Sister Lydia must've fallen in love with the property, which - as anyone who's visited the Out on a Limb exhibit knows - overlooks the Wissahickon Valley.

John died in 1915, Lydia in 1932, after which the estate was left in trust to the University of Pennsylvania. It was valued at $4 million. Today, the Two Limbs sculpture marks the spot where the great house used to be. I don't know about you, and I do like the scupture, but part of me would rather the house had survived.