Remarkable Erwinna Estate Once Owned by Famed Humorist S.J. Perelman

1

It is hard to pick out a single remarkable detail from this home. In addition to the stunning 83-acre lot and the solarium with a living wall of ivy, the estate was once owned by noted humorist and writer, S.J. Perelman. Sidney Joseph Perelman, of course, was the co-writer for Marx Brothers screenplays including Monkey Business and Horse Feathers. He also co-wrote Around the World in Eighty Days, for which he earned an Oscar. His surrealist writing in The New Yorker made him a household name in the 1930s and 1940s.


Perelman's former home sits on a sprawling lot with several gardens, a fenced-in pasture, a stream, walking trails, hedgerows and a wildflower meadow. There is also a pool and set of tennis courts, of course. Inside, the 19th-century farmhouse has been renovated to include a new kitchen with granite counters and radiant heat oak flooring. The adjacent solarium features a living ivy wall and terrace access. The master suite is on the first floor as well, with its own fireplace.

The property also includes a one-story studio, a "summer kitchen" with stone walk-in fireplace and an enormous four-story stone and frame barn which includes its own kitchen and dining room as well as a great room, a one-bedroom apartment and lofts. For a better sense of exactly how big this barn is, a selection from Conversations with S.J. Perelman, edited by Tom Teicholz:

[Perelman's] two grown children now live elsewhere, and the myna bird they got in Siam in 1949 has died. A spectacular attempt to redress its loss took place last year when Perelman, an avid subscriber to La Vie des Betes, noticed that his barn was exactly the length of a gibbon's swing, 34 feet, and set out to buy a pair of siamang gibbons. ... But the plan miscarried, and Perelman remains birdless and apeless in Erwinna.

[conversation with William Zinsser in 1969, pg. 47]

THE FINE PRINT
Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Square feet: 2,627
Lot: 83.16 acres
Price: $2.29 million




Listing: 160 Geigel Hill Rd., Erwinna, PA 18920

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.