Sylvan Edge Estate Is Just Minutes From Lynnewood Hall

TREND photo via

TREND photo via Long & Foster

Given its proximity, it seems almost criminal not to mention Sylvan Edge’s fascinating neighbor, Lynnewood Hall, first. Thus, a little history of the phenomenal property that’s now on the market for $20 million:

The property, built in 1898 from a commission made by Peter A.B. Widener to Horace Trumbauer, had additions constructed by Trumbauer and Angus Wade. The former’s carriage house has echoes of Versailles’ Petite Trianon, making the nickname given to it by Widener’s grandson all the more appropriate: “the last American Versailles.”

Between 1909 and 1910, Trumbauer added the Van Dyck gallery for Widener’s growing art collection. A decade later, he re-imagined the carriage house so that it could serve as a residence for the family of Widener’s grandson. In 1996, doctor and Reverend Richard S. Yoon bought the property after its former owners, a seminary, had rid the estate of significant features. Interior shots of Lynnewood Hall can be found here. And videos here.

Sylvan Edge, on the other hand, is like a scaled down version of the Lynnewood estate. This gated home, which has been featured in the likes of Architectural Digest, is situated on a cobblestone Belgian block driveway with walled courtyard.

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Unique Upper Merion Home Overlooking Gulph Creek

117 Arden Road, Gulph Mills, PA.

117 Arden Road, Gulph Mills, PA.

Don’t be fooled by the crisp white exterior of this eighteenth-century stone manse. It was once a cluster of individual textile mills, which have since been combined to create a roomy abode looking out onto the waters of Gulph Creek at Hanging Rock.

As one might expect, the woods-surrounded home has an interesting interior layout. For one thing, the floor plan permits for two master bedrooms, one of which has a custom-outfitted dressing room. Distinctive features include Mercer tile, exposed beams and timbers, and six fireplaces–all of which are artisan-crafted.

The home’s outdoor highlights are its terraced gardens, two-car garage with upper level, and numerous outdoor entertaining spaces. Gallery below.

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Hidden 8BR Glenside Estate With Cupola

TREND photo courtesy Long & Foster.

TREND photo courtesy Long & Foster.

The thing we love most about this beautiful Glenside estate is that it has been restored to its 1830s heyday but there are still opportunities for new owners to personalize the property. With only four previous owners, the estate has retained original elements like pocket doors and pocket shutters as well as original pinewood flooring. While the property has been renovated meticulously, new owners will still have the chance to devise any use they like for two very cool spaces: a cupola and a restored barn.

The main living areas of the home include a library with the double whammy of built-in bookshleves and window seats. A formal living room features a fireplace with Mercer tile (you’ll also find that in the bathrooms and in one of the other three fireplaces). The kitchen has been fully renovated and includes radiant heat flooring, an eight-burner, two-oven Wolf stove, a Sub Zero refrigerator and a separate wine cooler. The first-floor dining room could accommodate more than 150 guests at a cocktail party.

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Passive House Building Principles at Kamp Kaolin in Landenberg

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Photo by Laura Kicey.

Currently under construction in southern Chester County (Landenberg, to be precise), Kamp Kaolin is a 2,700 square-foot home designed with a whole slew of industry buzzwords in mind. Sustainability. Passive house principles. Aging-in-place.

We talked to Hugh Lofting, of Hugh Lofting Timber Framing Inc., who is in charge of the project. The company is one of only seven certified passive house builders in Pennsylvania, so he’s the man to talk to when you want to confirm that the building principles involve more than a bunch of architects standing around saying things like “wherever you think the truss should go is fine with me” or “I’m sure that foundation is level enough.”

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Clash of the Real Estate Titans: Zillow vs. Trulia

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Zillow.com and Trulia.com are the two most popular real estate websites, where the majority of consumers go when they’re trying to find a home to buy. What you’ll find on both is syndicated information — listings copy written by the realtor; photos provided by the realtor; info about number of beds, baths, etc. But each portal, as they’re called, ups the ante by supplementing syndicated information with customized features: maps, lists of homes that have sold and how much they’ve sold for, property history, neighborhood amenities, etc.

As with the travel industry, consumers can now do much of their research online, which changes the role of real estate brokerages. For many consumers, an independent brokerage is no longer the first stop along the home-buying journey.

Companies like Zillow and Trulia don’t necessarily think of themselves as being in the business of real estate. Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, describes Zillow as a media company. In his first-quarter earnings call in May, he said: “We sell ads. We don’t sell houses.”

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Jaw-dropper of the Week: $12.5M in Loveladies

Photo via Joy Luedtke Real Estate LLC

Photo via Joy Luedtke Real Estate LLC

Talk about exclusive: Not only is this Gym Wilson-designed house in Loveladies; not only is it oceanfront; not only does it have Viking/Sub Zero and Miele appliances; it even has an espresso bar and martini bar. Then there are the materials: limestone, marble, onyx and glass tile in the bathrooms; granite and stainless steel in the kitchen; Brazilian Ipe for the deck outside; glass walls and California glass for the deck rails; carved cherry wood for the full-sized elevator. And whatever material makes a room soundproof for the movie theater.

That’s just for starters. See the gallery below.

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For Sale: Home in Lizzy Haddon Neighborhood Has Dodge Ball Court

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The Lizzy Haddon neighborhood in Haddonfield is named after Elizabeth Haddon, the town’s co-foundress (her father bought the land in the late 1600s, but sent her to claim it when she was just twenty years old) known for her commitment to the flourishing community.

Haddon is said to have served as a clerk during women’s meetings for close to fifty years, while also being a pillar of charity for the poor and sick. Her public persona today is tied up with that generous image along with a notable frankness that is interlaced just right in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Elizabeth,” a poem depicting Haddon’s good deeds and her proposal to John Eustaugh.

Neighborhood history aside, here’s the house info:

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Haverford Modern: Is This a Hecto-Oxagonal-Geodesical-Solaris Home?

quaker lane

TREND photo via Christopher Real Estate Services

This home, built (quite clearly) in 1974, has that era’s California modern thing going on, but also a few contemporary touches you’d see in a home today, like the glowing red sink. Though it was previously marketed “as is” after a foreclosure, it seems to have been spiffed up quite a bit, with a kitchen featuring the following: “Italian Pedini cabinetry, silestone/quartz countertops, porcelain floor tile, a conduction cooktop, chef’s gourmet range hood, two stainless steel refrigerators, a large island, double convection oven, several glass door pantries, a butler’s pantry (with additional cabinetry, sink and second fridge) and a glass backsplash.” Updating the kitchen can’t fail.

More technically, there’s a new HVAC system and a pool surrounded by a new paver patio. But the photos really demonstrate what the house has to offer. Gallery below.

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Spruce Street Gem Built by Stephen Girard with Private Park Entrance

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

In a city where founders left history on practically every block in some neighborhoods, Stephen Girard still stands out. The guy stuck around Philadelphia during two separate yellow fever outbreaks to help the sick and dying. And then he personally bailed out the government to ensure the Americans would win the War of 1812. He provided for the city’s orphans in his will, establishing Girard College (for background on the school’s eventual desegregation as well as a fascinating story about the perimeter wall, check out Hidden City). Society Hill still bears reminders of the philanthropist, especially on Spruce Street.

This enormous home was built by Girard in 1831 and has since been restored and preserved. The listing claims in excess of 4,200 square feet but the agent’s notes tell us it’s closer to 5,200 square feet. In short, it’s huge. There are plenty of period details (the usual plaster, pine floors and winding stairs found throughout Society Hill). Our favorite is the actual King of Prussia marble in the fireplaces.The home itself has four bedrooms and four full baths.

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Multimillion Dollar Clothier Estate Back on the Market

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This home — once called Selkirk — belonged to Lydia Clothier and her husband when the Main Line was dotted by many opulent Clothier family properties. Later this estate went through a religious conversion, becoming the Faith Bible Presbyterian Church in 1966 before returning to its secular life as a personal residence.

With eight bedrooms and seven baths, the home is just shy of 9,000 square feet and has 13 fireplaces, a sauna, pool, tennis courts and gardens. Like many grand estates, it’s been a tough sell. Buyers often wonder about upkeep and operating expenses, and sellers are often reluctant to go beneath a certain number. In this case, after all, it’s a historic property. It’s tough to swallow the notion that one can’t get an original asking price.

The current owners listed it for sale initially, according to Public Record, in 2010 for $2,495,000. The price came down in July 2011 to $2,345,000 and stayed right there as it went on and off the market through January 2014. Now it’s finally reduced to $1,950,000, a reduction of $395,000. Will this do the trick?

Gallery below.

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