Rathalla at Rosemont College
Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont
Rathalla was built in 1891 for Joseph F. Sinnott, distiller and director of the First National Bank, by the architects Hazlehurst & Huckel. The 32-room chateauesque home was sited on the crest of a gently sloping hill on 40 acres in Rosemont, quite noticeable from the Pennsylvania Railroad. Perhaps named to recognize the “position” of both Mr. Sinnott and his home, Rathalla means “hilltop fortress of the head of the clan” in Gaelic! Its exuberant design was described in William Morrison’s Main Line Country Houses as an “unapologetic celebration of Joseph Sinnott’s rags to riches saga.”
In 1923, Rathalla was purchased by the Sisters of the Holy Child and became the campus of Rosemont College. The property was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and in 2009 was elevated from a Class 2 to a Class 1 building – Lower Merion’s highest level of preservation.