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History of the Estate

BUILT IN 1907 FOR PHILIP M. SHARPLES

reystone Hall is at the center of a complete English country estate built in 1907 for Philip M. Sharples (1857 – 1944), inventor and manufacturer of the Sharples Tubular Cream Separator, which sold from the 1890’s to the 1930’s. The machines, which separated the rich butter fat from raw milk, were manufactured at Sharples’ factories in West Chester, Pennsylvania and near Hamburg, Germany. After achieving worldwide financial success, Sharples began to purchase parcels of farmland just north of West Chester, ultimately assembling almost a thousand acres on which he planned to build a magnificent home and surrounding estate.

 



THE ARCHITECT: CHARLES BARTON KEEN

harples selected a prominent Philadelphia architect, Charles Barton Keen, to design the mansion and the outbuildings on the estate. Keen had designed many residences in the Germantown and Overboork sections of Philadelphia and many mansions for wealthy patrons on the Main Line as well as houses on Long Island. He later designed the Aronomink Golf Clubhouse and “Rose Garland”, now known as “the Willows”. His best known project other than Greystone, is “Reynolda” the Winston-Salem, North Carolina estate built for the R.J. Reynolds family which is now a museum of American Art.






END OF AN ERA

fter Sharples’ first wife Helen died in 1911 and their three children were on their own, he remarried and with his second wife Jean had three more children. They lived at Greystone until 1935. His early great success was paralleled by financial ruin. Greystone, which had been pledged as collateral on loans, was foreclosed in the Depression and Sharples and his young family moved to Pasadena California where he lived until his death in 1944.

During the late Depression years and the first years of World War II, about half of Greystone’s acreage was sold in small parcels. Greystone Hall, as with many of the great mansions of yesteryear, was considered “a white elephant.” In 1942, Greystone Hall and the five hundred acres remaining of the estate was purchased by Aram K. Jerrehian of Philadelphia, an importer and appraiser of fine oriental rugs, for the Jerrehian Brothers partnership.



THE JERREHIAN FAMILY AT GREYSTONE HALL FROM 1942 TO THE PRESENT

he Jerrehian family emigrated to America in the early twentieth century to escape ethic persecution of the Armenians in Turkey and to seek a new life in the new world. They came from Diyarbakir, a city in the historic Armenian provinces of Turkey. The family settled in Philadelphia, first establishing a family grocery store in 1905 and then the Oriental Rug Renovating Company in 1907 which later became “Jerrehian Brothers – Rugs of Quality”, specializing in the importing, selling and appraising of antique and modern oriental carpets.

Since 1942 several generations of the Jerrehian family have resided at Greystone Hall and other buildings on the property. Greystone Hall’s architectural integrity has been remarkably preserved. The main wing of the mansion stands today essentially as it was designed, built and decorated, with furnishings and carpets from the Jerrehian family collections.