Blatstein’s McIlhenny Mansion Renovations Get Thumbs Up From Historical Commission

mcilhenny mansion

Photo by Bradley Maule for Hidden City.

Last week the Philadelphia Historical Commission considered building changes requested by developer Bart Blatstein, who bought Rittenhouse Square’s long vacant McIlhenny Mansion in April as a personal residence. According to PlanPhilly, “the Blatstein case was considered from two vantages:”

whether the changes he was requesting were merely “alterations” or if they constituted “demolition” of historic fabric; and whether the design of the new building is compatible with the overall historic district.

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Newly Listed: Hank McNeil’s Delancey Street Mansion + Former Chunk of the McIlhenney Mansion

Tylenol heir Henry McNeil has been busy. He recently sold 1914-15 Rittenhouse Square (colloquially known as the McIlhenney mansion) to Bart Blatstein for the developer’s use as a private residence. McNeil’s own home was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article about historic Philadelphia homes that have modern interiors. That home, a phenomenal 13,000-square-foot residence at 19th and Delancey. For enthusiasts of modern design, it is without compare in the Rittenhouse Square area.

1901 is being sold with a companion property that will sound familiar to those who follow building histories in Philadelphia: 1921 Manning. The duplex (with two parking spaces) used to be part of the McIlhenney Mansion parcel and is directly adjacent to it.

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WSJ: Philly Is Perfect Case Study for the Latest Twist in Home Design

Hank McNeil, who just sold Rittenhouse Square’s legendary McIlhenney Mansion to Bart Blatstein, is suddenly having a serious 15 minutes of fame. After a flurry of press about the mansion, McNeil gets highlighted in the Wall Street Journal for a piece about the mansion he actually lives in. The 13,000-square-foot residence at 19th and Delancey represents a new design trend: preserving a historic facade but transforming the interior into a contemporary design showcase. “Faced with strict codes and steep construction costs,” says the Journal, “more homeowners are installing modern interiors in old homes.”

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