Free tours of the Emlen Physick Estate in March will benefit the Cape May Community Food Closet

mac spring

Learn about Victorian architecture and local history while helping your neighbors in need during three days in March with free tours of the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St.

These free tours are being offered by the Friends of the Physick Estate, an affinity group of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC), on Fridays, March 1, 8 and 15 at 2:15 p.m., in exchange for a small donation of items that will benefit the Cape May Community Food Closet.

With a donation of pantry items, toiletries or paper goods worth at least $5, visitors can take a 45-minute, complimentary guided tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the 1879 Physick House Museum, an 18-room mansion built in 1879 and designed by renowned architect Frank Furness. The Physick Estate is one of the finest examples of Victorian “Stick Style” architecture in America. 

Visitors will learn about Victorian life and the fascinating history of the estate and its former inhabitants. The Physick Estate was built for a rather unusual household:  Dr. Emlen Physick, who never married; his widowed mother, Mrs. Ralston; and his maiden aunt Emilie. Dr. Physick was descended from a famous and wealthy Philadelphia medical family.  His grandfather, Dr. Philip Syng Physick, was known as the Father of American Surgery and invented the stomach pump.

Visitors should drop off their donations at the Hill House office on the grounds of the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., where they will receive a complimentary tour ticket. All items received will be donated to the Cape May Community Food Closet, located in the First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., Cape May. 

MAC offers guided and self-guided tours of the Physick Estate throughout the year. Through March 28, admission is $12 per adult, $8 per child (ages 3-12).  Parking is free at the Estate.

The Friends of the Physick Estate is an affinity group of MAC, especially devoted to enhancing the collections of the 1879 Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian House Museum. The Physick Estate has been lovingly preserved to its original splendor. The 18-room Physick House was built in the Stick Style of architecture, and has the trademark design features of renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Furness. The Estate provides an in-depth glimpse of the Victorian period and offers year-round tours and unique living history programs.

MAC is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at