For the uninitiated, Joseph Horn was the Philadelphian half of Horn & Hardart, of the automat empire by the same name. For the really uninitiated, automats were something of a Grubhub for the very early 20th century. Which is to say, you could get cheap food there without having to interact face-to-face with humans. Horn & Hardart opened the nation’s first automat here on Chestnut Street in 1902. Its contents now reside in the Smithsonian. The restaurants grew in popularity through the Depression and into the 1950s, when you could still order hot meals from anonymously staffed vending machines for less than a dollar. The last one closed in New York in 1991.
Back to Joseph Horn. According to the Fitler Square Improvement Association, Horn was persuaded to build a home in the neighborhood by James Methaney, who had recently built his own mansion nearby. You might recognize his name if you spend time in Fitler Square park because he is memorialized with a plaque and tree there. Horn built his mansion in 1929.
The home retains the charm of old construction but has been maintained and updated significantly. The granite kitchen includes a walk-in pantry overlooking the dreamy garden out back. The dining room boasts a wood-burning fireplace and makes excellent use of a window seat. There are three bedrooms, including a master with radiant heat. The two other bedrooms are located upstairs adjacent to third-floor laundry.
The garden out back includes a koi pond and at least one tree that appears – by the listing photo – to be growing through a very sturdy fence. The sale also includes one year of prepaid parking at the garage at 22nd and Pine.
THE FINE PRINT
Baths: 2 full, 2 partial
Square feet: 3,555
2408 Pine Street, Philadelphia
TREND photos by Drew Callaghan courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach
Listing: 2408 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103