This National Historic Site located in Milford, PA, and overlooking the Delaware River, was the home of Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the U.S. Forest Service and governor of Pennsylvania for two terms (1922 and 1930). Grey Towers serves as a reminder of his legacy as well as a stunning piece of architectural history.
Built in 1886 by Gifford’s father, James Pinchot, the French chateau-inspired structure was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, a leading architect of the era. Used just as their summer home for two decades, the Pinchot family entertained guests for afternoon teas and dinner parties. Yet perhaps the most significant thing to happen here in those days were the words James passed on to Gifford; given the unsustainable logging practices he saw throughout the country, he encouraged Gifford to consider a career in forestry. The rest, as they say, is history.
The home remained in the family until 1963, when Gifford and Cornelia’s son Gifford Bryce Pinchot donated Grey Towers and 102 acres to the U.S. Forest Service, the organization that his father founded so many years prior. The U.S. Forest Service and its partners, such as the Grey Towers Heritage Association, carry on the Pinchot legacy here through public programs, interpretive tours of the home and grounds, and educational programs on conservation. The Pinchot Institute for Conservation, whose mission is to “contribute to the conservation and sustainability of natural resource management”, also calls the building home. Grey Towers is also used for myriad environmental conferences and seminars where the leaders of today meet to develop new ideas for natural resources conservation. Under the stewardship of the U.S. Forest Service, the home will continue to inspire future generations of foresters and other conservationists.