From Movie Theater to French Hammered Pewter Countertop, David Magerman’s Gladwyne House Does Not Disappoint


$3.9 million is the asking price for Main Line Orthodox Jewish community leader David Magerman’s current residence at 1357 Hearthstone Lane in Gladwyne. The occasionally controversial philanthropist, restaurateur, and former hedge fund manager will soon move to his new home on Latches Lane in Merion, which is still under construction.

Some of Magerman’s soon-to-be new neighbors had grown accustomed to looking at the 75-year-old, 12,000-square-foot house that once stood on the 3.57 acre corner lot of Magerman’s new home. Magerman completely demolished that house to make room for his new one. Last year he told Property that the old house “was not very usable.”

The Hearthstone Lane house has five bedrooms that are “squeezed” into 9,629 of living space. That doesn’t include the 2,112 square foot very finished basement that’s home to a 13-seat movie theater. The entertainment center features oversized leather reclining chairs and is powered by a Kaleidescape server. In addition to the home theater, the house comes with five other flat screen TV’s, all 45” or larger.

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Philadelphia Metro Has 27 of 1,000 Richest U.S. Neighborhoods

vintage villanova ad

Image from a home builders catalog via Flickr user MidCentArc.

The Higley 1,000 — the list of America’s 1,000 wealthiest neighborhoods — has just been released by by geographer Stephen Higley. For those of us on the East Coast, there aren’t too many surprises: We can shrug our collective shoulders at the news that New York and Connecticut are full of moneyed white people. But it’s interesting to see the results for the Philadelphia metro area.

First, let’s listen to Higley talk about how tough it is to define “neighborhood”:

The concept of “neighborhood” in America is to say the least, amorphous. Realtors are notorious at “stretching” ill-defined neighborhood boundaries of wealthy places in the interest of generating higher prices through a halo effect.

Mapping companies vary from identifying virtually every sub-division (ADC Maps) to the grudging vagueness of a few well known neighborhoods (eg. Thomas Brothers Guides, Rand McNally). Google Maps, my main source for updating the Higley 1000 for 2010, has done an excellent job of adding neighborhoods in recent years. Still, there are many areas that are difficult to name as a “neighborhood”. I have used a variety of resources in trying to identify individual neighborhoods including extensive use of the internet.

(That’s cute — “extensive use of the internet.” Well, yes, we all use that thing from time to time.)

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It’s Back: Gladwyne’s Historic Water Wheel Home


After a year off the market, this Gladwyne property has been relisted at $1.25 million. You may recognize it from its features in Bon Appetit and Main Line Today.

The home features formal spaces including a be-muraled parlor and a fireside library. The dining room is ringed by custom cabinetry by Van Heynecker, and similarly luxurious finishes complete the gourmet kitchen (which also features its own fireplace). The formal living room boasts another fireplace and set of built-ins. The family room offers heated tile flooring and a grand glass roof. Upstairs, the master suite includes two bathrooms of its own and – of course – its own fireplace. The third story bedroom includes a cedar closet, sauna and shower.

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Main Line Monday: Onetime “Undercover Boss” Puts Gladwyne Manse on the Market


Former Synagro CEO Bill Massa had his 15 minutes of fame in 2011 when he was featured on the CBS show Undercover Boss. The premise of the show is that high-level executives take jobs as low-level employees within their own companies in order to get an unvarnished view of the issues their out-of-the-exectutive-suite employees have to deal with.

Massa probably had the most un-whitewashed experience among all the executives who have appeared on Undercover Boss — Synagra is in the waste management business. During the 43-minute program, which AOL Jobs described as “the oohiest, gooiest, grossest, most disgusting Undercover Boss ever,” Massa sampled sludge in a waste-water treatment plant, worked with a bulldozer operator who was cleaning out waste materials from a lagoon, converted waste to pellets, and hosed down a sludge tank.

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Main Line Monday: Ornate, Extravagant Monk Road Estate

If the $24.5 million price tag for Linden Hill at 1543 Monk Road is just a tad above your price range, fret not. Berkshire Hathaway is listing another house on the same street. This one’s at 1410 Monk Road, a mere 285 feet from the estate formerly owned by Campbell Soup mogul Jack Dorrance.

The eight-bedroom home on two acres is a sprawling 14,500 square feet with nine full baths and three powder rooms. Downstairs (please don’t call it the basement) you’ll find a bar, a billiard room, a family room, cardio and weight rooms, and a home theater.

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VIDEO: French Chateau in Gladwyne

french chateau

Though this video was posted on YouTube in 2011, it appears little has changed about the appearance of this extravagant Gladwyne property. Characterized as “French chateau-style,” the four-story home has a game room, a media room, an elevator, a patio, a bar, fireplaces, and a rather capacious Jacuzzi tub.

Despite all the perks, it hasn’t been easy to sell, apparently. It was first listed in November 2011, and here we are a year later without a sale. Perhaps that’s why it saw a price cut last week: from $1.95 million — the asking price since its first appearance on the market — to $1.795. Will that be the magic number?

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New Listing: E.R. Fenimore Johnson’s $8.5 Million Gladwyne Gem

1333 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne, PA

1333 Youngsford Road, Gladwyne, PA

It’s always cool if you can say someone prominent once lived in your home, even if their celebrity was rooted in something somewhat obscure, like the evolution of underwater photography in the 20th century. According to the listing for 1333 Youngsford Road, that’s exactly the case.

Son of phonograph producer Eldridge Reeves Johnson, E.R. Fenimore Johnson — a prior resident of 1333 Youngsford Road — had a varied career, which can be seen in a blog post by the researcher-processor of his photography collection at the Academy of Natural Sciences. The Academy’s collection page characterizes him not only as a photographer but also as an explorer and yachtsman.

It seems fitting, then, that Fenimore Johnson’s former residence sports an in-ground swimming pool. (Most likely a new addition to the house, admittedly.)

Aside from the pool, the house itself is a classic Gladwyne gem standing on almost 6 acres of land and with a carriage house for company. There’s a gated entry and arrival courtyard leading to “a centrally located reception hall.”

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Weekend Open Houses: Gladwyne, Bala, and Haverford

Plenty of lovely homes are open for your viewing pleasure this weekend in nearby Philly ‘burbs. Below are our top picks, including one special 4-bedroom with a listing that asks, “Wouldn’t you like to paddle your kayak across the river and take a Septa train to work?” Wow. Special, indeed.

234 River Road, Gladwyne, PA
Gladwyne 234 River Road

Open House: September 22, 12-4pm
Price: $1,199,000
Bed: 4
Bath: 4.1
3,408 sq. feet



35 Llanberris Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Bala 35 Llanberris RoadOpen House: September 22, 2-4pm
Price: $625,000
Bed: 4
Bath: 2.1
3,276 sq. feet



243 Cheswold Lane, Haverford, PA
Haverford 243 Cheswold LaneOpen House: September 22, 2-4pm
Price: $65,000 (reduced from $1,085,000)
Bed: 4
Bath: 4.1
2,808 sq. feet

Three Acre-Plus Main Line Estate Goes to Auction

grandgladwyneIt doesn’t happen too often with incredible luxury properties in our area, but this 9,000-square-foot five-bedroom will now be offered at foreclosure auction due to an outstanding balance of about $2 million. It sits on more than 3 acres of gated land on a private road and features a pool and spa with wrap-around deck; a fitted-out pub; a media room; and a fireplace in the master bedroom.

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