Main Line Monday: Furness-Designed “Lynhurst” Going For $3.1 Million

TREND images via Zillow/BHHS Fox & Roach-Bryn Mawr

TREND images via Zillow/BHHS Fox & Roach-Bryn Mawr

Gosh, what a time to be alive. Originally part of the historic Knollbrook estate, Lynhurst was a three-year construction built at the behest of attorney I. Layton Register who would go on to use it at his summer residence. Given that it was the late 1800s (the stone manse was completed in 1890), Register was able to have its designer be none other than now legendary Philadelphia architect Frank Furness. Today, it’s listed for a cool $3.1 million.

As you’d imagine, the Main Line stunner is said to have retained its “impeccable architectural symmetry,” though it’s also in the way of offering a meticulously update interior, beginning with the kitchen, which has been recently renovated, along with the breakfast area. Here, built-in seating lends some charm to the pristine space, which comes with an ogee-edged center island and ample cabinetry.

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Re-Listed: Frank Furness Designed This Mansion for his Civil War Buddy

Photos by Herb Engelsberg via TREND/Laurie Phillips

Photos by Herb Engelsberg via TREND/Laurie Phillips

It’s been a few months since we checked on the incredible mansion in Fitler Square that Frank Furness designed for his long-time friend Rudulph Ellis.

See, the two became buddies as part of Rush’s Lancers during the Civil War and each would go on to become prominent citizens after serving in the military. Ellis became a director of the Pennsylvania Railroad (and could afford to have his pal Frank design the new facade and additions at 2113 Spruce Street), and the war hero Furness–well, we probably don’t have to tell you about his accomplishments.

Though its $2.95 million asking price has stayed the same since February, the historic home has been re-listed on Redfin, this time with a slightly updated description. Check out the gallery from the previous listing below.

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PAFA Museum to Undergo Historic Restoration This Summer

The Historic Landmark Building at PAFA | Photo: GPTMC

The Historic Landmark Building at PAFA | Photo: GPTMC

If you happen to see scaffolding going up around the hallowed Historic Landmark Building at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, don’t fret. It’s all part of a summer-long restoration project to the building designed by Frank Furness and George Hewitt in the late-1800s.

Juxtaposed with the gigantic glass and metal Pennsylvania Convention Center across Broad Street, the Victorian Gothic museum building is still a wonder to this very day. It will see a handful of skillful–and gentle–repairs, including the restoration of the slate and glass roof as well as its stone and brick exterior, according to a recent press release from PAFA. Scaffolding installation begins May 18 and should take seven to 10 days to complete. The cost of the project is “about $1.5 million,” says PAFA’s Heike Rass. Here’s more:

For the rest of the summer, work will include stone cleaning, mortar repair, new slate on the center roof, new gutter work, resetting and sealing skylights, and installation of heat tracers in the building’s rain gutters to prevent formation of icicles on the edge of the facade.

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Neighbors Await Church to Preschools Conversion In West Philly

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

The former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ building at 4700 Kingsessing Avenue has already started to see renovation work, as previously reported, but the property still requires a zoning variance if its to become a permanent community fixture. And it looks like its well on its way, according to developer Guy Laren: “The ZBA asked very positive questions,” he says in summation of his Monday meeting with the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment. He says he expects to hear an answer from them as early as the end of this week.

Laren’s plans for repurposing the old church and its parish house into a commercial space with two preschools, in this case the Children’s Community School and a Little Learners branch has been well-received by area residents, with the few worries aired coming from a community group called the Southwest Philadelphia District Services and “near neighbors concerned with traffic.”

Support, however, has been the predominant response. “Lights would be on,” on the relatively unfrequented corner, he says, and locals “generally liked it.” Among the project’s most vocal supporters were the parents of children enrolled at the Little Learners daycare at 46th and Woodland, as many hope the second location will help stall kids enrolled at the Woodland branch from being “graduated out” for lack of space. “This is not a chain that changes managers every three months,” Laren added. They would “both be amenities to the community.”

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Furness-Designed Church In Philadelphia Closer to Preschool Conversion?

Former parish house (left) and former Saint Peter's Church of Christ (right) at 47th and Kingsessing | Image via Google Street View

Former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ (right) and its parish house (left) | Image via Google Street View

Developer Guy Laren and his band of neighborhood supporters are a zoning change away from moving forward on a project that would see the former Saint Peter’s Church of Christ building at 47th and Kingsessing converted into two preschools. Plans will be heard at a community zoning meeting today at 2pm, according to West Philly Local.

If granted approval, tots would be closer to having a superbly special place to spend their days, wouldn’t they? For not only does the property, Read more »

Morning Headlines: Saving a Frank Furness-Related Church Is a Labor of Love

It's getting there. | Photo: Google Street View

It’s getting there. | Photo: Google Street View

Although it’s still in need of millions of dollars in repairs in order to be returned to its former glory, the 19th Street Baptist Church at 19th and Titan streets in Point Breeze is slowly, but surely, being saved. Given the amount of church demolitions this city sees each year, can we all give the congregation of the church and Aaron Wunsch, a professor of historic preservation at Penn, a collective hallelujah?

Newsworks reports the city has cleared away one historic church each month over the past few years and Wunsch, along with Deacon Lloyd Butler and other church members, has done yeoman’s work to make sure this church, officially designed by George W. Hewitt in 1874 during a partnership in a firm with Frank Furness, wasn’t added to that dubious list:  Read more »

Map Shows Where Long-Demolished Furness Works Once Stood in Center City

Broad Street Station was demolished in 1953 | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Broad Street Station was demolished in 1953 | Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Sure there are Furness and Furness-influenced buildings scattered throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area (one is for sale; the other, formerly listed for $995,000, is now for rent right here in Philly), but a good chunk of his Center City oeuvres (some of which were touted as one of his best) were torn down long ago.

Fortunately, Curbed Philly has put together a map of ten Furness works that once stood in the area, as well as images and informational tidbits on the constructions. Check it out, and let us know if there’s one you would have kept up (No. 4 and 8 would have definitely been preserved under our watch).

The Frank Furness You’ll Never See in Center City [Curbed Philly]

Just Listed: Spruce Street Mansion Designed by Frank Furness

Photos by Herb Engelsberg via TREND/Laurie Phillips

Photos by Herb Engelsberg via TREND/Laurie Phillips

This listing comes with a little bit of a history lesson.

The mansion at 2113 Spruce Street was designed by the legendary architect Frank Furness for his dear friend Rudulph Ellis, a director at the Pennsylvania Railroad. The connection with Ellis runs deep, as the two men served in the Civil War together as part of Rush’s Lancers. Furness even received the Medal of Honor for his bravery at Trevilian Station, the only American architect to be awarded such a distinction.

The home itself is almost as impressive as its rich history.
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There’s a Cool Time-Juggling Sculpture Outside of PAFA Right Now

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts building (yes, that iconic Frank Furness designed structure on North Broad) now has a head-turning addition: a 16-foot sculpture called “Young Punch Juggling” by artist Robert Taplin.

According to NewsWorks‘ Peter Crimmins, the installation is “the second in an ongoing series of temporary sculptures” that will be situated on the iconic building’s façade. PAFA’s museum director says the sculpture, which shows Punch juggling objects from different time periods, was designed with the building in mind. From NewsWorks:

[Harry] Philbrick asked Talpin to create a sculpture that responds to the building. Famed architect Frank Furness designed it in 1875 as his own contemporary response to traditional: he made a steel-trussed building with a classic Gothic Revival façade, including a sculpture platform over the front door – a plinth.

Here’s a look at the sculpture going up…

Jacques Ferber Reopens on Walnut Street

Jacques-FerberJacques Ferber was a Walnut Street institution since 1911, but where once there were furs (and protesters against them) there are now Vans. Ferber has moved to the second floor of 1708 Walnut, Shoppist reports:

The Ferber team preserved details of the historic building (take a look at the wide wood frames around the mirrors—those were designed by Frank Furness). The final result? A modern space with plenty of character, just like the collection itself.

Jacques Ferber Reveals Its New Walnut Street Store [Shoppist]

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