Category: Splendiferous Interiors

Splendiferous Interiors: Magnificent Objects From Vaux Hill Mansion Go Up for Auction Tomorrow


The phenomenal Vaux Hill in Phoenixville should rightly be a Winterthur-style tourist attraction with a Gettsyburg spin. According to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, it was originally a 300-acre farm purchased by James Vaux in 1772. Vaux was an amateur scientist, but a successful and influential one:

At his farm, James carried out scientific experiments in agriculture, becoming the first person to cultivate red clover in America, and also pioneered the use of anthracite coal for heating and cooking purposes. Accounts of his experiments can be found in early editions of the Franklin Institute Journal.

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Splendiferous Interiors: Entirely Purple Dive Bar for Sale

purple bar

The blue-on-the-outside, purple-on-the-inside (like a gobstopper) Ingram Lounge is for sale in East Mt. Airy, and it’s being marketed as an investment opportunity with a “well-established clientele.” The bar is “ready for a new owner operator looking to start their own brand or expand an existing concept.”

May we issue a request to the new owner of this bar? PLEASE DO NOT ALTER THE INTERIOR PAINT OR TAKE DOWN THE STREAMERS.

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Sold! South Philly Home With Elvis-Themed Basement Bar

elvis basement bar

If Philadelphia is the capital city of basement bars, South Philadelphia is its City Hall. Need proof? Look no further than this house near 13th and Ritner. With three bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths, the 1,200-square-foot, awning-bedecked classic is most distinguished not by its exterior or its bones but by the downstairs decor, which is stupendous.

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House of the Day: NoLibs Home Restored By Urban Outfitters/ Anthropologie Designers


Amanda and Dan Gneiding’s three-bedroom home across the street from the Piazza has received a lot of attention since the couple–both of them designers, one at Anthropologie, the other at Urban Outfitters–restored it. It was featured in Design Home, Nest, Apartment Therapy, Cookie Magazine and elsewhere. Though the couple adores the house and are justifiably proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish, they’re relocating to Bucks County so they can split their time between Philly and New York for work. But it hasn’t been an easy decision.

“We are so sad to leave our little neighborhood and all of our friends in the creative community here in Northern Liberties,” Amanda says, “especially now that we have the new coffee shop right next door, new grocery store, and favorite restaurant right across the street. All of our favorite things are here in arm’ reach. It’s going to be hard to beat.”

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Property’s Morning Obsession: World’s Most Expensive Motor Home, and Greater Philadelphia’s Cheapest

most expensive motorhome


The most expensive recreational vehicle in the world is on sale for $2 million in–where else?–Dubai. From the Daily Mail (rogue capitalization of brand name obviously sic):

The space-age eleMMent Palazzo comes complete with a colossal master bedroom, 40-inch TV, on-board bar, fireplace and even its own rooftop terrace.

But the most impressive piece of luxury is the ‘Sky Lounge’ – at the press of a button the 40ft home transforms into a personal retreat with pop up cocktail bar, underfloor heating and extravagant marble lighting.

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Burch Family Puts Linden Hall on the Market for $24.5M in Time for US Open

linden hall

When Robert Burch’s family moved to Gladwyne in 1999, having paid $9.3 million for an estate at 1543 Monk Road, they’d been living on a huge farm. As a result, the property–once owned by the Campbell Soup Dorrance dynasty–gradually took on more rustic aspects–chickens, for instance, and son Roby’s horseback commute to school each day (chronicled in 2010 in the Inquirer). According to the first issue of Grays Lane magazine, Roby even drives a John Deere tractor in the Gladwyne Memorial Day Parade.

But make no mistake: Since it was designed and built by Edmund Gilchrist in 1929, the 50-plus-acre estate has remained very much the same: a village of buildings meant to look like Normandy and anchored by a 14,000-square-foot, 20-room manor home.

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Newly Listed: Hank McNeil’s Delancey Street Mansion + Former Chunk of the McIlhenney Mansion

1901 delancey exterior

Tylenol heir Henry McNeil has been busy. He recently sold 1914-15 Rittenhouse Square (colloquially known as the McIlhenney mansion) to Bart Blatstein for the developer’s use as a private residence. McNeil’s own home was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article about historic Philadelphia homes that have modern interiors. That home, a phenomenal 13,000-square-foot residence at 19th and Delancey. For enthusiasts of modern design, it is without compare in the Rittenhouse Square area.

1901 is being sold with a companion property that will sound familiar to those who follow building histories in Philadelphia: 1921 Manning. The duplex (with two parking spaces) used to be part of the McIlhenney Mansion parcel and is directly adjacent to it.

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Renovation Diary: Scott and Peggy Brehman’s Newtown Square Dairy Barn

philadelphia newtown square kitchen

Photo: Sam Oberter for Philadelphia Magazine

If ever there were two people who know how to remake a space, it’s Scott and Peggy Brehman. Scott is co-owner of B&H Investment Properties, which has built and/or renovated more than 35 properties in the last 14 years. He has a particular facility with the challenges of historical buildings, including his personal home. Peggy owns Aubusson Home, a fabric and trimming store, so design, color choices and aesthetics come naturally to her.

Some of the most interesting adapted features of the above kitchen, according to Peggy: More →

Beautiful Photos of Hidden City Festival Installations (Tomorrow Is Free!)

hidden city festival

Photo of Hawthorne Hall installation by Laura Kicey

The Hidden City Festival brings contemporary art and performance into forgotten and forbidden sites across the city for music lovers, urban explorers, ruin festishists, art enthusiasts, history buffs and, most especially, The Philadelphia Obsessive, that strange breed of person who gets flushed talking about the Sameric (sorry, the Boyd).

Property’s staff photographer Laura Kicey went to three Hidden City Festival sites to take photos now that the installations are in place. For some of the sites before, go to “Inside Some of Philadelphia’s Most Extraordinary Forbidden Buildings.

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Union League Gets a New Look

Photo: Union League

Photo: Union League

That august institution founded in 1862 by President Lincoln, Broad Street’s French Renaissance Union League of Philadelphia is getting an interior makeover. A new demonstration kitchen and wine cellar is being constructed, and the Lincoln Hall (often known as the Lincoln Ballroom), dedicated in 1913, is getting a renovation. The Hall’s ceiling is being restored to its original contours, and its the renovations are meant to be done by June. In the meantime, visitors get to take a look at renderings in the hallway.

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