Woah. | Images: Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty – Bryn Mawr
Ah, Gladwyne, we have but one question for you. How the hell do you do it? It seems like our pick for Main Line Monday is always a toss up between a fantastic home in Gladwyne and then the rest of the Main Line. Our most recent installment is a special one, and we even have to admit, it’s going to be difficult to top.
Originally constructed in 1835, Fernside Cottage pretty much as it all: history, high design, privacy and, of course, luxury. The listing states that the humble mill worker’s house dates back to 1835 and was converted into a single-family home by Dr. Seymour DeWitt Ludlum, the founder of the “lost” Gladwyne Colony. It was eventually gobbled up by Campbell’s Soup magnate John Dorrance and incorporated into Dolobran, his sprawling estate now known as Linden Hill, another Gladwyne Jaw Dropper. More recently, the home was renovated with a modernist addition by Daniel Evan White, a noted architect from British Columbia who has designed some seriously impressive residences, mainly in the Vancouver area.
So, what do you get for nearly $5 million? It’s ain’t just about the history.
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TREND images via Zillow.com
When it comes down to it, Greta Garbo really might have lived in any one of the Main Line’s grand mansions had she elected to grace the area with her presence every now and then. But according to hearsay that’s been passed down through the decades, “River House,” a Schuylkill River-side residence in Gladwyne, this is the one she might have lived in. Per the listing:
Legend has it that “River House” was built for Leopold Stokowski, director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and his lover, famed film star, Greta Garbo, but following a disagreement, they never acquired the home.
We can’t vouch for that conjecture, but it is true that Stokowski and Garbo appeared to have been friends and travel companions. In any case, River House went on to belong to another set of artistic types, in this case Helen Tyson Madeira and Louis C. Madeira IV. The Madeiras, who purchased the property in 1940, lived there “for nearly three-quarters of a century.” Now, the home is on the market for the first time since they acquired it.
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TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-Gladwyne
Set on two tree-filled acres and facing Gladwyne’s Rolling Hill Park, this contemporary lodge residence on Rose Glen Road is just as scenic as you might imagine. Taking full advantage of this is the home’s living room, which has a two-story glass wall taking in the woodsy scene.
It’s not totally Walden Pond though. Aside from not having a natural body of water within the vicinity, the property, within walking distance to Gladwyne Village, is one of several amenities: wet bar; family room with swimming pool access; and a wood-wrapped, cathedral-ceilinged master suite with twelve (!!) custom closet doors on the second level.
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All photos by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach-Bryn Mawr
Where to begin with this classic stone estate in Gladwyne? Let’s start at the very beginning with the fact that it was originally designed in 1932 by Walter Durham, the noted architect behind many, many esteemed residences throughout the region.
More recently, the nearly 4-acre estate has been fully renovated with high-end amenities. It’s tough to say which room is the standout. On one hand, you have the amazing living room with vaulted ceilings spanned by gorgeous exposed beams and wrapped in original stone walls and a fireplace. In the other, there’s the spacious master bedroom with lavish master bath–seriously, just look at that set up.
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All images via Kurfiss Sotheby’s
Its design was inspired by the French Norman style and it seems more like a picturesque village from a different time than what Linden Hill actually is: a private, fifty-plus-acre estate about twenty-five minutes from Philadelphia.
Edmund Gilchrist, the architect behind the Lewis Tower (now Aria) and other fine estates around the area, designed this the sprawling compound for a wealthy stockbroker named Rodman E. Griscom between 1928 and 1931. The latter was the son of Clement Griscom, who hired the legendary Frank Furness to create the family’s Dolobran estate in Haverford. And so, Rodman dubbed his residential masterpiece “Dolobran II” for good measure.
Now, there are not too many homes in the area that have five-minute mini-docs on YouTube, but in this case we’re not surprised to see Linden Hill does. Aside from vaunting two pools, tennis court, an aviary, and a ten-car garage, the Gladwyne estate is the former home of the Dorrance family, the dynasty behind the Campbell’s Soup Company.
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TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach-Haverford Stn.
It’s got a pretty name, and, fortunately, it offers so much more than that too. Glenlaurel, a stone and slate home by Durham and Irvine, is one of those regal Main Line residences that’s not only situated on three-plus-acres of “meticulously landscaped grounds” with mature trees and a spring fed pond, but was constructed in the style of an English Norman manor to boot. Throw in a pool and lighted tennis court and you’ve got yourself an impressive home.
In addition to its five bedrooms, the home’s service quarters provide three extra bedrooms. Recent changes to the house include renovated baths, refaced Poggenpohl kitchen cabinetry, and a finished lower level and covered rear terrace. A guest house / three-car garage has also been renovated and enlarged. It’s most visibly charming feature from the outside, however, must be the turret, which houses a turned staircase to the bedroom level where a master suite awaits.
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TREND photos via BHHS Fox & Roach – Rosemont
We’ll get to its interior details in a second, but first, we just gotta say: What a find!
Located near the Bridlewild Trails, this updated home dates back over 200 years–possibly even 300 years if some Gladwyne historian out there can help us out: the original structure was built in 1710, but it’s not certain if it was integrated into the home like the 1813, 1926, and 1956 additions. According to listing agent Carol Ogelsby, if the 18th-century former single-room tenant farmer house was preserved, it’s likely it is now the parlor. But again, take that with a grain of salt.
Speaking of the parlor, it has a grand staircase and working fireplace, one of six in the home (including the bedrooms). Ogelsby tells us five of these are gas fireplaces, while one is wood. Throughout the house you’ll be met with random-width wood floors, millwork, and deep-silled windows. A corridor room with French doors leads out to a glassed-in porch and right off the dining room is a beamed china room that’s used as a breakfast room to the modernized kitchen, which is said to once been a summer kitchen.
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TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach – Bryn Mawr
He likes sophisticated modern living, she prefers homey spaces with a touch of the historical. Where and how will they ever find a home that suits both tastes? More importantly, wouldn’t a house like that elicit more than its fair share of eyebrow raises (and not in a good way)?
If you answered yes to the latter question, this house may change your mind. Ardwyn, a 70-year-old structure built in the French Norman style, is situated on three-plus acres of Main Line land and is a perfect blend of the above described tastes. The home owes its unique design to Castlecomb Projects who artfully balanced it out with “bold, impeccably selected and masterfully crafted” finishes. Stone and brick make up the building, which offers a spiral staircase turret, soaring ceilings, exquisite detailing, and a chic kitchen that looks like it was taken out of the pages of HGTV Magazine. To boot, there’s an upper level room with windows looking out to the great room, as well as an adjacent interior balcony.
You just have to see the gallery!
All images by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach – Chestnut Hill
Update (2:36 p.m.): It seems to be a basketball-themed day here at Property, where in addition to reporting that AI’s former mansion sold, a savvy reader left a comment below pointing out that this Main Line home is the former residence of former Sixer John Salmons!
It has the typically high-end hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, wine cellar, and high ceilings one comes to expect in Gladwyne homes, but this particular property boasts an extra feature we rarely hear see: a working elevator that stops on each of the four floors.
In-home theater, gym, sauna, spa, and a second kitchen on the lower level are also in the home, but our choice amenity (aside from the elevator) is the toasty-sounding master suite bathroom, which comes with heated floors!
Halkett millwork can be found in the first level library, while the main kitchen includes a wall stove, Clive Christian custom cabinetry, and a walk-in pantry. Additionally, the gallery shows a room with–do our eyes deceive us?–what appears to be a barber’s chair.
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The interior of Gladwyne Methodist Church, soon to be converted to residential space.
Main Line reBUILD has secured approval from Lower Merion Township—in a unanimous 12-0 vote—to move forward with the development of 310-324 Righters Mill Road. The hearing officers were impressed by the company’s ability to balance preservationist concerns with contemporary neighborhood priorities, including parking and the maintenance of the old structures. They even quoted John Keats when referring to reBUILD’s plans, and for a company specializing in adaptive reuse, you can’t do better than that.
The project includes the conversion of the circa-1842 Gladwyne Methodist Church, the church parsonage and the adjacent Odd Fellows Hall into rather luxurious residential space. To wit:
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