If Theophilus P. Chandler were of this generation, he would be what we call “a game-changer.” Unfortunately, he died in 1928. But as founder and president of the American Institute of Architect’s Philadelphia chapter and founder and director of the University of Penn’s Department of Architecture, Chandler was a significant force who elevated the role of architecture in the city’s psyche during the late 1800s.
Granted, despite being a “conveyor of high-style design, often based on European models,” and designing numerous residential and commercial properties throughout the area, he kind of started to be more recognized as a church architect than anything else (he did the former Church of the New Jerusalem at 22nd and Chestnut). A more informative biography on Chandler can be found here.
Stonecliffe, built in 1880, happens to be one of the private properties Chandler designed. It was a stone residence that would go on to see major changes, one of the more tragic being a fire which burned it to its foundations sometime during the 1920s. What remains of this home are the granite steps, which can be seen in this photo of Stonecliffe from back in the day, although there’s no date to place it before or after the fire:
Photo credit: Bryn Mawr College.
In the 1970s, the home was remodeled by architect Richard Martin who rebuilt the property around a private courtyard and garden. Today, the interior of the house can be accessed by walking up the original granite steps and descending through the hidden courtyard to the arcaded entrance.
Inside you’ll find a glass and stone great room, an open living and dining area divided by a hearth with floating hood, and another arcaded area designated for light entertainment. The home also includes a kitchen with exposed stone and a family room with a medieval arrow-slit window, a callback to its original design. It overlooks a downstairs office and has direct accessed to the courtyard/pool area.
Upstairs, the master bedroom boasts a private roof deck, while another larger deck on the second floor allows views of up to forty miles west.
THE FINE PRINT
Baths: 2 full, 1 half
Square feet: 5,255
Price: $1.4 million
Listing: 7 Caryl Lane, Philadelphia, PA, 19118 [Fox & Roach]