Stunning $2.9 Million Mansion in Rittenhouse Square

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach

Walking down the grand streets like Spruce and Locust that connect Rittenhouse and Fitler Squares, it is fun to imagine what Philadelphia must have been like before the stately homes lining those streets had been carved into a series of pricey condos and apartments. This rare find gives us a sense of exactly how magnificent these homes once were.

At nearly 5,500 square feet, this corner home dwarfs its neighbors. The listing notes that there are 16 separate room but we can’t be sure how they’re counting the master suite, which accounts for an entire floor of the sprawling home. Formal living and dining rooms which are each paired with less stodgy family living and dining rooms. A few of the 16 rooms also include a lounge, a study, a butler’s pantry and a wine cellar. The aforementioned master suite includes an entirely granite bath as well as a dressing room ringed by closets. Finishes in the gourmet kitchen are by SubZero, Dacor and Fisher & Paykel.
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Stunning Parc Rittenhouse 3BR With Massive Terrace

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Private terraces cantilevered from the high-rises surrounding Rittenhouse Square are basically de rigueur. They generally come attached to lavishly finished condos and afford you space enough for a few chairs and a side table on which to set your La Colombe and your Vanity Fair.

Then there is this terrace at Parc Rittenhouse. Its square footage — a staggering 1,500 — could easily be mistaken for an average home’s livable space. Indeed, it’s only a few hundred square feet smaller than the indoor space for this unit.

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A Builder’s Personal Palace Becomes Apartments With Personality

Original wood flooring. Photo: Sandy Smith.

Original wood flooring. Photo: Sandy Smith.

One of the really cool things about adapting old structures to new uses is that a little of their original personality rubs off on their new function. For a prime example of this, we can turn to 2013 Spruce Street, an 1868 Second Empire townhome now in the home stretch of being converted to 12 rental apartments by property manager AMC Delancey Companies.

2013 Spruce is the largest of a row of mansard-roofed mansions built by Ebenezer Burgess Warren and sold to some of the most prosperous Philadelphians of his time. Warren built 2013 as his own residence, and he had some pretty impressive neighbors: shipbuilder Randolph Wood, broker Joseph Seaver, machinists’ tool maker Walter K. Ludwig and jeweler G.W. Banks of Bailey, Banks and Biddle fame.

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Rittenhouse Condo Above Free Library Branch Puts You In the Trees and in the Stacks

FEAT

When most people think of the advantages of living directly on Rittenhouse Square, they probably think of proximity to chichi restaurants and lots of excellent shopping. Which is reasonable. But they really also ought to include the Philadelphia City Institute branch of the Free Library in their list of amenities on the Square. It is certainly among the choicest features for this one-bedroom condo lofted just above the branch.

The branch is named for the Philadelphia City Insitute, which actually first opened up at 18th and Chestnut in 1855. According to the Free Library, the branch has occupied the first and basement floors of the 220 building since 1957. Incidentally, that is the centennial anniversary of when the PCI founders (The Young Man’s Institute, of course) decided to let the ladies attend the fancy lectures. The Institute also hosted occasional concerts as well as night school. The branch is a gem not only for its David McShane mural (you might know him as the artist behind the Phillies mural project) but because it was designed by Institute member Erling H. Pedersen. He happens to be an architect who is also known to have worked on the Academy of Music, the Fairmount Water Works and the Valley Green Inn, among other city institutions.

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Living Large in Rittenhouse Square

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
Rittenhouse Square has long been Philadelphia’s most desirable neighborhood for both families and single professionals. Its focal point, the square, is a lovely park named for David Rittenhouse, a noted astronomer, clockmaker and friend to the American Revolution. The neighborhood quickly attracted the city’s wealthiest residents starting in the early 19th century, the second half of which saw a building boom of mansions and fashionable homes for the Victorian upper crust.

Today, some of those homes and structures still stand—these residences are frequently sought after for their architectural and historic appeal—and are joined by modern high-rises, hip restaurants, luxury hotels and topnotch shopping. The square itself remains the hub of the neighborhood, a place where on sunny days parents bring their kids to play in the fountains, business people grab a bite to eat on benches, and residents laze on the grass. Surrounding it are a number of the city’s top restaurants whose alfresco seating make them popular with diners who want to see and be seen. Shoppers looking for a little retail therapy head to the stretch of Walnut Street that’s home to high-end and popular retailers like Gap, Williams-Sonoma and Barney’s Co-Op. And in the warmer months, the streets and square come alive with a farmers market, outdoor art exhibitions, flower market, and other festivals, while the winter nights glitter with lights strung from the trees.

Whether you’re a couple with kids or single executive, you’ll feel at home in this vibrant neighborhood.

1706 Rittenhouse Sq., #1401, Philadelphia
Floor-to-ceiling windows and two terraces make this contemporary condo the perfect place to enjoy the neighborhood.
Price: $4,898,100
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2 full
MLS: 5997129

1601 Locust St., Philadelphia
A marbled center hall and formal dining and living rooms give this luxury condo a classic look.
Price: $2,450,000
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3 full, 1 half
MLS: 6128760

1737 Chestnut St., #1000, Philadelphia
This one-of-a-kind condo has beautiful hard wood floors and 360 degree views.
Price: $1,795,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3 full
MLS:  6174365