City House of the Week: Historic Edgecumbe in Chestnut Hill

The stunning property was later renovated by the legendary Theophilus P. Chandler.

Edgecumbe, All photos by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach - Chestnut Hill

Edgecumbe, All photos by TREND via BHHS Fox & Roach – Chestnut Hill

Fortunately for us, Philadelphia is not lacking incredible examples of residential architecture. Sure, the classic brick rowhome may define the much of the city’s design aesthetic.  On the flip side, it’s houses much like Edgecumbe in Chestnut Hill that evoke a certain wanting for the grandeur of Philly’s lavish past.

Listed at $1.795 million, the 7-bed, 4.1-bath estate at 8860 Norwood Avenue has the pedigree to back up its look. Edgecumbe’s design dates back to 1857 and has been attributed to one Samuel Sloan, a Chester County-born architect who is said to have worked on Eastern State Penitentiary among many other stately buildings, including multiple mansions and courthouses throughout the nation.

Additions to the property, which backs up to Chestnut Hill Hospital, were later made by Theophilus P. Chandler–who, incredible name aside, was a highly accomplished Philadelphia-based architect and also the founder of the American Institute of Architect’s Philadelphia chapter and the University of Penn’s Department of Architecture. According to the Chestnut Hill Historical Society, Chandler’s work in 1916 included a three-story addition and the removal of an Italianate tower. Yes, this house was even more impressive pre-1916. Wrap your head around that.

So, now that we’ve talked about the legendary minds and hands that built Edgecumbe, let’s take a look inside, shall we? Its glorious stone exterior with arched porches is just a taste of what’s to come, especially after what the listing calls a “meticulous renovation” from the home’s current owner. Intricate woodwork is seen throughout the home, including in the magnificent fireplace, wall paneling, coffered ceiling and railings to the grand staircase in the entryway. Back to the fireplace, we beg you to just take it in for a moment. The great room in which it is featured is bathed in natural sunlight, which only further enhances the wood details. The grand dining room boasts stained-glass windows that are simply divine.

It has been updated with modern conveniences, too. Look no further than the five zone, energy efficient Buderus HVAC system. It also features a new gourmet kitchen, updated bathrooms and a brand new roof. To top it off, there’s a separate barn and carriage house with its stables intact.

One last thing that’s of note: There are six years remaining on the 10 year tax abatement and the property is protected by preservation easements set by the Chestnut Hill Historical Society.

Beds: 7
Baths: 4.1
Square Feet: 7,270
Price: $1.795 million
Additional Info: Fully renovated, new gourmet kitchen, Separate barn


8860 Norwood Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118 [BHHS Fox & Roach – Chestnut Hill]