For Sale: Three Furness-Designed Properties

301 Washington Street, Birdsboro, PA.

301 Washington Street, Birdsboro, PA.

The “eccentricity of his architectural designs” may have appalled some of his contemporaries who clung to more traditional forms, but Philadelphia’s Victorian starchitect Frank Furness has had the last laugh. Furness-designed buildings with their signature high ceilings, beautiful staircases, and period details abound in the area, and his legacy and influence are alive as ever.

It just so happens that some of these are on the market.

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Frank Furness’ Lainshaw Is Now on the Market

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach

Designed in 1878 by famed Victorian architect Frank Furness, Lainshaw has the advantage of period charm that has been entirely renovated for modern convenience. The historic home sits on a darling, tree-lined lane and combines historic elements like trim and wainscoting with updates like a dual-bath en-suite in the master and a private meditation area.

The kitchen is probably the most modern of all the rooms in the 6,000-square-foot-plus home, having been updated with the usual high-end appliances, cabinetry and countertops. The first floor also features a wood-paneled library as well as a butler’s pantry. Upstairs the master includes a dressing room and two en-suite bathrooms. The study on the second floor overlooks the original Lainshaw nursery in the yard. The meditation space is also upstairs, alongside a laundry room as well as a media room (let’s hope they’re on separate ends of the hall).

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Did Frank Furness Really Design This Center City Home?

2201 St James St

A sizable four-bedroom townhome on 22nd Street between Walnut and Locust has been listed for $1.85 million, and one highlighted feature is the architect: Frank Furness. Well, to be precise, the house was “attributed to Frank Furness,” according to the listing. But did Furness design it?

The association makes sense. The house sits directly across the street from the definitely Furness-designed Morton Henry house. But we didn’t find any documentation confirming that Furness also designed this one, even in “Frank Furness: The Complete Works.” So we asked George E. Thomas, the book’s lead author and an architectural historian who teaches at Penn, about it.

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Abandoned America Tours Keep Selling Out. Photos By Laura Kicey

Matthew Christopher is a photographer of decrepit, abandoned places who shares his technical expertise with other photographers in weekend workshops. The Abandoned America series took Property’s Laura Kicey to the SS United States and more recently to Germantown’s St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

Built in the 1870s and designed by Frank Furness and George W. Hewitt, the church closed in 2005 and will soon undergo renovation to become a school, so this venture was the last chance to photograph it in its in-between state. How photographers love decrepitude! And how Philadelphians love to look at it as evidence of our own present and past. But enough philosophizing (level 101): Check out Laura’s beautiful (as always) photographs.

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