Another I.M. Pei Gem in Society Hill Hits the Market

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

TREND photo courtesy BHHS Fox & Roach.

There are many good reasons to revere I.M. Pei and his Philadelphia handiwork. Sure, the Society Hill homes are uniformly the coolest. And the Society Hill Towers pair beautifully beside them. But the guy also turned down a place in Oxford because he liked Bing Crosby movies. And then he got one look at Penn and immediately transferred to MIT.

There’s another Pei on the market around the corner from this one, at $1.395 million. One sold in April for $1.1 million on South Third. So it’s a safe bet that this Saint James Place property will be a solid, 3-bedroom investment. The home home has been totally renovated, but hews to the unspoken rule that Pei houses shall be decorated with only modern artwork. The eat-in kitchen is all clean lines. Bathrooms throughout – including the en-suite in the master – are sleek and inviting. We are still puzzling over the lower-level library; we see books, but is that also a collection of … jars?

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Beautiful Society Hill Townhome Designed by I.M. Pei

Pei-designed townhome

People who don’t like modernist architecture probably haven’t spent enough time around good modernist buildings. Curiously enough, a great place to do that is Philadelphia’s most posh colonial-brick neighborhood: Society Hill. It has Louis Sauer homes, the Cambridge Seven-designed former Independence Park visitor center (which will soon be demolished; some people don’t like it anyway), I.M Pei’s well known Society Hill Towers, as well as a less well known block of low-rise town homes also designed by Pei. One of those is now for sale for just under $1.4 million, and it looks awfully appealing.

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I.M. Pei Home Sells for $1.1 Million


Most people know I.M. Pei designed the Society Hill Towers, but projects like this three-story townhome at 251 South Third Street, are less well-known. In this case, the home, which is almost 45 years old, has been completely renovated but retains important architectural details, like a unique staircase lit by a skylight. The sleek, modern kitchen — Wolf, Sub Zero, Gaggenau, Thermador and Miele — was designed by Joanne Hudson, as were the bathrooms. There’s a gated parking space and a large garden too. It’s a wonderful home in a terrific neighborhood — no surprise that it sold fairly quickly.

Slideshow below.

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Best (Only?) Architecture-Related April Fools Joke

Philadelphia native Louis Kahn at the Salk Institute. Image via ArchDaily.

Philadelphia native Louis Kahn “outside of” the Salk Institute. Image via ArchDaily.

Are famous architects too serious for selfies? Robert Venturi, Philadelphia’s most famous postmodernist, may well have taken a few. But what about modern masters like Mies van der Rohe, Louis Kahn and I.M. Pei? What if they did, too? ArchDaily posted seven Photoshopped images it claimed were dug up from history:

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