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The Chanticleer Story


The Chanticleer estate dates from the early 20th-century, when land along the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was developed for summer homes to escape the heat of Philadelphia. Adolph Rosengarten, Sr., and his wife Christine chose the Wayne-St. Davids area to build their country retreat. The family's pharmaceutical firm would become part of Merck & Company in the 1920s.

The Rosengartens hired architect and former classmate Charles L. Borie to design the house, which was completed in 1913. Landscape architect Thomas Sears designed the terraces as extensions of the house. A 1924 addition converted the summer home into a year-round residence and the family moved here permanently.

Mr. Rosengarten's humor is evident in naming his home after the estate "Chanticlere" in Thackeray's 1855 novel The Newcomes. The fictional Chanticlere was "mortgaged up to the very castle windows" but "still the show of the county." Playing on the word, which is synonymous with "rooster," the Rosengartens used rooster motifs throughout the estate.

Adolph and Christine gave their two children homes as wedding presents. They purchased a neighboring property for son Adolph, Jr. and his bride Janet Newlin in 1933. It is now the site of the Ruin. Daughter Emily's house, located at today's visitor entrance, was built for her in 1935. It is presently used for offices and classrooms.

Adolph, Jr., bought his sister's portion of the estate following her death in the 1980s. He didn't move into the main house, but used it for entertaining and kept it as it was when the family lived there. The house is open for tours by reservation. Adolph, Jr., left the entire property for the enjoyment and education of the public following his death in 1990. A nine member Board of Directors, six of whom are Rosengarten relatives, oversees The Chanticleer Foundation. The garden opened to the public in 1993. There are 20 full-time staff, of whom two manage facilities and 14 are gardeners and groundskeepers.



Opening Times

Wednesday - Sunday


10am - 5pm

Parking reservations required Wednesday through Sunday.

Friday Evenings


Open until 8pm through Labor Day, parking reservations are required.
Due to limited parking, we cannot accommodate groups on Friday evenings.

Picnicking is permitted only in the picnic areas. We ask guests to carry out what they bring in.

Purchase a 2022 Season Pass

Early Saturdays in 2022


We open at 8:00am on June 4, July 2, August 6, September 3, and October 1.
Regular admission fees apply and parking reservations are required.

House and Garden Tours


Held every Friday and Saturday at 11am.
Learn more and register here.

Garden Highlights Tour


Held every Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm.
Learn more and register here.

News & Events

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All Vaccinated!


We’re pleased all Chanticleer staff and volunteers are vaccinated against COVID-19.

 Chanticleer In the News


High praise from 6ABC, WNEP, and The New York Times.

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