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.
Our friends over at Philly Post tell us the Forbes 400 is out–aka “ The Richest People In America” list–and four people within our Greater Philly universe have made the list. For those wondering how the other half lives, so to speak, here’s what we know about their residences.
Mary Alice Dorrance Malone
Image of Iron Springs Farm via VirtualGlobeTrotting
The Campbell Soup heiress operates Iron Springs Farm, which breeds, sells and develops champion Warmblood and Friesian stallions. Should you be an animal person interested in cooing over foals, go quickly to the Farm’s Facebook page, where you may catch a glimpse of life on the farm.
Photo: Drew Callaghan
To say it’s rare to see the Borie Estate for sale is a tremendous understatement. This offering marks only the fourth time the manse has been listed in 200 years. Originally home to Charles Louie Borie (a chief architect for the Philadelphia Museum of Art), the estate is fit for a regal art collection. The [...]
Luxury estates like this one always include fabulous exterior spaces. Impeccably manicured lawns. Pools and tennis courts beckoning you to relax. Driveways that wind through groves of perfect trees. This nearly 100-year-old stone colonial boasts all of the above, but the real treasure is on the inside: closets. In addition to six other bedrooms and [...]
Some people like the privacy and climate control of an indoor pool and spa. Others need to feel the sunshine on their shoulders and do their laps in outdoor pools only. Still others prefer fresh water. This sprawling estate satisfies all comers, featuring indoor and outdoor pools as well as a spring-fed pond complete with its own spring house.
The estate – situated on 21 acres – is separated into three wings, delineating entertaining from private spaces easily. The bounty of wrought iron, marble and grotto features befit a proper six-bedroom, seven-bath villa.
To start, this estate’s wine room is significantly bigger than some studio apartments we’ve seen. And sure, many a manse features a bar and a library and and an opulent, dark-wood, leather-bedecked study. But this one also includes its own solarium and underground shooting range.
The property also features eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms as well as a billiards room and tennis courts. The pool behind the flagstone verandah is opulent enough that one wonders when Tracy Lord will appear with her model of the True Love.
Today it’s all about the fancy: the “oh!” in “ostentatious,” the photo-ops of opulence, the dance of abundance. It’s Property’s Luxe Life.
This estate is so well-equipped we can’t really think of anything it lacks except maybe a shark tank. Home theater? Check. Salt-water pool with a waterfall feature? Check. Elevator, wine cellar, tennis court, private pond stocked with fish? You betcha. The main house has a library so traditional-looking it even comes with a stern but loving grandfather. Not really. The kitchen has a country design aesthetic, all white wood cabinets and brassy hardware, which is sort of fun after looking at too many ultra-modern kitchens.
This 19th-century brownstone at 20th and Spruce is simply exquisite. From the boxed wainscoting and triple crown molding to the hand-carved door frames and carved plaster ceilings, each detail is gasp-inducing. There are nine fireplaces, each of them unique, and a five-story atrium with two skylights. Only the kitchen lacks a bit of the spectacular.
From a practical perspective, the home has two-car gated parking with an ice melt system, and it is, without question, in a superb location–both in terms of convenience and investment potential.
The real estate section of the Wall Street Journal placed on a non-millennial's desk.
Bucking the recent conventional wisdom that millennials are holding off on buying homes due to a fear of getting into further debt, the Wall Street Journal has an article today about the way the wealthy among the generation is jumping into the housing market feet first. One broker told the Journal:
“In the last two months, half the folks I sold homes to were young entrepreneurial types—and they were all buying homes for over a million dollars. A few years ago, that kind of buyer was invisible. We had young folks buying starter condos for a few hundred thousand dollars. But this new wave is skipping that step entirely and going right for the high-end home.”
This is New Hope’s most expensive property by more than $40 million, but the new owner is getting far more than land. The entire business of the farm–an established breeding and racing facility with 175 horses–is for sale, including three other horse farms along with this one: two in Buckingham Township and one in Upper Makefield. Add it all up, and it’s more than 450 acres of land.
Fashion Farm inspired the magazine Fashion & Farm Country Magazine, which has now been embodied in a film called “Country” that was filmed at the New Hope location. For prospective buyers, it’s a fine way to learn more about the property.