“I could live in a modern home like this,” Kevin Yoder, architect and founder of k YODER design, recalls hearing a guest say during a visit to his Society Hill townhome on South 3rd Street, originally designed by I. M. Pei in the 1960s. Yoder uses his extensive renovation of his Pei home to showcase his modern designs for potential clients. It’s worked, as the owners of this nearby Pei home purchased it after a walk-through of Yoder’s and hired him to undertake a “down to the studs” transformation. Yoder, whose career spans 20 years, worked with the owners to open up the floor plan to flood the space with natural light while incorporating crisp, clean lines throughout the home. Read more »
Days after finding out one of I.M. Pei’s oeuvres was back on the market, this time as a rental, we now discover another one of his works is for sale. In true Pei style, this 1963 townhouse has a boxy construction with plenty of light-friendly openings, the most notable being the sky-lit circular staircase.
Hardwood floors are featured throughout, but the second-level living area includes built-in shelves, wood-burning fireplace and a Juliet balcony. (There’s also a den here, which can serve as a third bedroom.) The kitchen is on the first floor and boasts butcher block counters, double sink, trash compactor and GE double ovens, while the neighboring dining room vaunts four panel glass doors that open to a brick paved garden with access to gated parking nearby.
We wrote about this beautiful Bingham Court townhome in April when it was listed for sale and going for $1,395,000. It sold in August after a minor price cut, but a close source recently informed us that it was put on the market again. Sure enough, Zillow says the now rental was listed in November and is now asking for $7,000/month (two big notches down from the original $9,000/month).
Aside from being crafted by one of the masters of modern architecture, the home boasts a cozy wood-burning fireplace, high ceilings and a wall of windows to enjoy the sunlight. There’s also a gourmet eat-in kitchen with double sink, granite countertops and slate flooring, as well as appliances by Viking and Wolfe. The fridge is Subzero.
See Drew Callaghan‘s gallery below!
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?
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.
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.
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:
The Society Hill Towers, built in 1964, are a love-’em-or-hate-’em affair: Though many are justifiably proud that the city has such a massive contribution from an architectural giant like I.M. Pei, others see the Towers as outdated and awkwardly located, and it’s not always an easy sell. But take creative minds like James Timberlake (of the architecture firm Kieren Timberlake) and interior designer Meg Rodgers, and the spaces in the building can be stunning.