Farmhouse Friday: From the Valley to the Ridge in Roxborough

This well-maintained 1930s farmhouse in Andorra was built on the bones of an 1850s home that sat near the banks of the Schuylkill.

730 Spring Lane, Philadelphia, Pa. 19128 | Images from BHHS Fox & Roach

730 Spring Lane, Philadelphia, Pa. 19128 | Images from BHHS Fox & Roach

This handsome Colonial farmhouse sits on a not-quite-3/4-acre lot on a quiet street just off Ridge Avenue in the Andorra section of upper Roxborough, not far from the Montgomery County line. It’s been lovingly maintained over the years since it took its current form in the mid-1930s, but its owner says there’s some interesting history behind it.

According to the owner, Milena Davidova, this home started out as a much smaller frame farmhouse along the banks of the Schuylkill in the 1850s. An outbreak of malaria in the early 1900s led those homeowners who could afford it, including the owners of this house, to pack up and move to higher ground, house and all. The house was moved to a new foundation just off “the Ridge” on a flatbed wagon drawn by horses.

That house was radically transformed in the mid-1930s to what you see today. According to a blueprint in Milena’s possession, the work was performed by architect Robert Rhodes Goodwin for the house’s owner, Mrs. Samuel F. Houston, the wife of the son of Henry Howard Houston, who developed Chestnut Hill and much of upper Roxborough. Photos documenting the move and the blueprint of the enlargement came with the home when she bought it. (As Samuel and his wife lived in Chestnut Hill all their lives, we might guess that the home was rebuilt as an investment.)

We assume they will be passed on to whoever acquires this well-maintained farmhouse. On the outside, many of the original architectural details and the German clapboard siding have been preserved intact; inside, the original millwork and deep windows add character to a home that has been upgraded over the years to meet the needs of modern life, most recently with the upgrading of the master bathroom and two other bathrooms in 2015.

This home’s climate control and electrical systems are completely up to date, and it also features extras such as a butler’s pantry, mud room and full unfinished basement for storage. The grounds include a vegetable garden, a slate terrace and a storage shed.

THE FINE PRINT

BEDS: 6

BATHS: 4 full, 1 partial

SQUARE FEET: 4,930

PRICE: $599,999

ADDITIONAL INFO: This home originally listed for $624,000 and has had one price reduction. It has two fireplaces and a separate two-car garage.



730 Spring Lane, Philadelphia, Pa. 19128 [Mark Malfara | BHHS Fox & Roach]