Jawdropper of the Week: A Fabulous Federal in Society Hill

309 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

309 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106 | TREND Images via BHHS Fox & Roach

You may not have foreign ambassadors on your guest list for dinner, but if you did, you’d be able to receive them with the dignity they deserve in this meticulously restored 1814 Federal mansion in the heart of Society Hill.

Your domestic friends might ask, “So what’s it like to live in a piece of history?” You’d be able to answer, “Great!” For even though this home’s details are authentic to the core, it has also been updated where it counts the most for the modern homeowner, namely, in the kitchen and the bathrooms.

We’ll get to those in a bit. But first, let’s start with the impressive entrance hallway just beyond the chandelier-lit foyer. Read more »

Jawdropper of the Week: History Now in Society Hill

James and Dolley Madison House, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Main Line

James and Dolley Madison House, Philadelphia, PA 19106 | TREND Images via RE/MAX Main Line

Our Founders, it turns out, were very forward-thinking people.

At least that’s the impression we get after taking a look at the house James and Dolley Madison once occupied in Society Hill.

Who knew they invented the open plan main floor? We sure didn’t.

Truth to tell, the Madisons have nothing to do with the way this spectacular Federal townhouse looks now. Its inside is the product of a meticulous top-to-bottom renovation that respects the home’s historic heritage while filling it with all the latest in style, comfort, features and amenities. Read more »

Society Hill Playhouse to Close

Society Hill Playhouse

Society Hill Playhouse

Society Hill Playhouse, a fixture on the Philadelphia theater scene since 1959, will close on April 1.

The theater company made the announcement on its website last Thursday; it sent out a press release on Tuesday.

In more than 50 years, the company “has produced hundreds of American and European premieres; developed many notable programs; trained countless artists and technicians and true to its mission, (and) remained unique in its dedication to contemporary theatre and the community,” the company said in a statement announcing the closure. Read more »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: Stained Glass Skylight Residence in Society Hill

TREND images via Zillow/Coldwell Banker Preferred.

TREND images via Zillow/Coldwell Banker Preferred.

Entering this c.1865 Society Hill townhouse (figuratively speaking – we used the gallery below), one is met with a foyer leading into the formal living and dining rooms, where intricate crown molding, original pine floors, and 12-foot high ceilings festoon the spaces.

Add to that marble fireplaces and built-in cabinets, the four-bedroom manse is one of those fierce golden oldies rivaling even its younger, hipper brethren.

It keeps up with the times thanks to a slew of meticulous updates, some of which are clearly seen in the kitchen. Here, a marble island and 6 burner Viking gas stove and griddle reside alongside an over-sized fridge and built-in stainless steel dishwasher and microwave. What’s more, it has garden access via sliding glass doors.

Read more »

Short Sale in Society Hill: Former “City House of the Week” Gets Sizable Price Cut

Photos by Mike Mackintosh; Joe Staehly, Home Jab via TREND,Re/Max

It looks like a lot has happened to this gorgeous home in Society Hill since we featured it in March. Back then, it was our City House of the Week, mainly for its charming original details and the 360-degree roof deck.

Between then and now, it’s taken a few price cuts and now Redfin has it listed at $650,000. That’s a $200,000 price chop since the early spring. “This property is a Short Sale and the bank is looking for an offer; all offers will be considered,” according to the meat and potatoes from the listing.

Want a refresher on what this place has to offer? Right this way, friends.
Read more »

Jaw Dropper of the Week: Art Collector’s Society Hill Home Listed For $5.775M

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel / Zillow.com

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel / Zillow.com

Much like the museum-like Delancey Place residence we featured last week, today’s jaw-dropper is a home with a unique relationship to art: the Society Hill dwelling was originally owned by an art collector who took great care to incorporate his collection into his home’s appearance.

Situated on four combined lots (they total to roughly 10,000 square feet), late Penn Jersey Subaru founder Robert S. Lee actually commissioned the construction of his Pine Street house back in the early 1990s. Although officially designed by Stephen Varenhorst Architects, the R. Lee Residence was heavily shaped by Lee and his wife Gabriele, an interior architect. “They happened to have a large art collection and wanted a lot of light and a lot of walls, so it was kind of a balancing act to work it out,” Varenhorst said of the couple’s vision in a 1999 Inquirer article.

Indeed, listing agent Laurie Phillips says that another layer of wood was added along the walls of the first floor “to accommodate the paintings.”  This accommodation has been great for the similarly art-inclined, it seems, because, as Phillips told Property, the second owners also happened to be avid art collectors, particularly of the modern variety.

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Trinity Tuesday: Snuggle Up on Philly’s Secluded South Hancock Street

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

If ever there were a season during which the trinity house shines brightest, it’s likely to come down to autumn or winter. Face it: they’re snug, usually hidden on some tucked away street, and make for wonderful dwellings during months where being outside is a drag. This residence, parked in a cloistered section of Society Hill, fits that description.

Quite literally just off Headhouse Square, you’ll find this home by wandering onto a skinny-mini portion of Naudain Street. There, an iron gate encloses a private courtyard where this expanded trinity is nestled there among other homes. The property consists of hardwood floors, washer & dryer, and two bedrooms and a den. Moreover, the current owners say it’s most recent updates include energy efficient windows and an updated electrical system.

And yes, the painted address tiles on the exterior were there long before the owners moved in, so they’ll be staying with the home. Specs and photos below.

Read more »

Deeded Parking, Bonus Guest House Included in Society Hill Townhome Sale

TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach-CC Rittenhouse Hotel

Whether it’s guests, your kids who recently graduated from college, or that distant niece / nephew looking for a decent place to rent in the city, this Society Hill home will allow you to play host or landlord to them. See, in addition to the stately main residence, the property has a private two-bedroom back house with its own entrance from Lawrence Court Walkway. Per the listing, it’s viable as guest quarters or for leasing.

But let’s get back to the part you’re dying to hear about.

Read more »

Newly Renovated Residence in Society Hill Shows Off Restored Facade

TREND images via Zillow.com

TREND images via Zillow.com

Someone once asked me what my favorite part of the city was and, I’m assuming to their and now your surprise, I gave the anticlimactic answer of Society Hill. It’s heavily residential, to be sure, with commercial amenities slowly emerging as you near Old City or South Street, but that’s precisely why I like it. It calls to mind that old Thomas Mann quote that goes “Thoughts come clearly as one walks,” and Society Hill is my personal (I’m usually the only one taking a stroll there for the sake of it) walker’s paradise.

Part of what makes those occasional promenades so great are the home eye-candy, especially the historic ones with beautifully restored facades. This newly renovated home at 528 Spruce Street, listed for more than $2 million, finds itself in such a position. (Psst, you can see at an open house this Sunday, deets and photos below.)

Read more »

Underground Fire Knocks Out Power in Society Hill

An underground fire left about a hundred PECO customers in Center City without power on Thursday.

The transformer fire started near 2nd and Walnut Streets on the border between Old City and Society Hill. The first call, about smoking manholes, came in at 10:45 a.m. Most of the customers without power are in the Society Hill Towers. Read more »

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