House and Home: An Art Exhibit near Heritage Summer Hill at Doylestown’s Mercer Museum

"Home" means something different to every person. For Henry Mercer, the local artisan who inspired Mercer Museum, "home" referred to a castle—Fonthill Castle, to be exact. His completely customized cement castle resides less than two miles from Mercer Museum in Doylestown — and just a short trip from Heritage Summer Hill. So it's only fitting that his namesake museum would pay homage to the concept of the home in a special springtime exhibit called House and Home.

From now until March 15, the exhibit is on display at Mercer Museum. It seeks to answer the question "What makes a house a home?" by considering the many different buildings where Americans reside and have resided throughout history. From smaller spaces like dorm rooms to colonial homes to military barracks, the exhibit makes a case for calling each "home" via a collection of photos, videos, artifacts from the homes themselves, and original construction materials.

If you find yourself hungry for more art and history after exploring House and Home, check out Mercer Museum's other current exhibits. They include a display of works by Bucks County artists, an art spread dedicated to volunteer firefighting, and a family-friendly, interactive LEGO castle exhibit.

House and Home at Mercer Museum
84 S. Pine Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 345-0210

Experience Doylestown History near Heritage Summer Hill at the Mercer Museum

"Unique" is a word often used to describe Mercer Museum in Yelp reviews. Unlike your typical museum, this one is housed inside of a building—or rather, a castle—made entirely out of concrete. It was designed and built by namesake Henry C. Mercer, a Doylestown local who believed that every piece of handmade history should be preserved, no matter how small. To that end, the open atrium of this concrete building near Heritage Summer Hill became a catch-all for a variety of unusual and rare items collected prior to the Industrial Revolution.

The mix of wares avoids any kind of overarching theme. A whaling boat hangs in the open air over the six-story atrium. Nearby, a Conestoga wagon dangles and a stagecoach awaits occupants who will probably never arrive—unless they're excellent climbers. Elsewhere in the museum you'll find tucked-away rooms and cubbyholes holding everything from old-fashioned healing instruments to the equipment tinsmiths once used.

If the Mercer Museum intrigues you so greatly that you'd like to learn more about its creator, plan a visit to nearby Fonthill, Henry Mercer's former residence. The archaeologist, ceramicist, and all-around academic had a very unique taste, and it shows in the design of his home—particularly the Moravian tiles found throughout the second concrete castle.

Mercer Museum
84 South Pine Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 345-0210

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