That House Out There: Modern with a Classical Accent in Queen Village

We're used to seeing designers give traditional architecture a modern twist. This spacious, nicely outfitted home flips that script.

617 S. American St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images from Keller Williams Center City

617 S. American St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 | TREND Images from Keller Williams Center City

The beautiful thing about Postmodernism is it allows you to mix and match periods and styles to your liking. Usually, the standard pairing is the insertion of Modernist furnishings and design elements into fusty old classical interiors, sometime with a nudge and a wink.

This home in Queen Village does the reverse: it’s a starkly Modernist home that has been outfitted with traditional design elements of the kind you might see in Architectural Digest. The effect is, dare we say it, rather refreshing.

Let’s start with the skylit stairwell that connects all four of this home’s floors (counting the finished basement). It starts at a marble foyer before transitioning to hardwood floors, metal stair railings and a crystal chandelier as an exclamation point.

Beyond it, the living room has a traditionally styled wood-burning fireplace bracketed by built-in bookshelves. It’s a thoroughly classical design that works well in this high-ceilinged space.

The dining room offers a similar mashup in the form of the modern lighting over the dining room table combined with the Colonial-inspired glass-front cabinets on the dining room’s wet bar — or is that an open-plan butler’s pantry?

Then there’s the thoroughly contemporary kitchen, replete with all the usual modern bells and whistles. But check out those red lacquer cabinets! Maybe just a whiff of ancien regime elegance.

The bathrooms upstairs are strictly contemporary, though, and as for the bedrooms and the downstairs fininshed basement rec room with wine cellar, you can make them as traditional or as modern as you like depending on your choice of furniture, as the current owner has done here.

On top of all this is a full-floor roof deck with a fantastic 360-degree view. It’s one of four outdoor spaces this home has, including two upper-floor balconies and a gated patio on one side.

Got kids? This home lies within the Meredith school district. ‘Nuff said. And it’s convenient to the Delaware riverfront as well as the dining, nightlife and shopping in Head House Square and on South Street.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this home’s design is, this is the modernized update. We’ve seen the photos from a previous listing, and there were a lot more traditional cues back before the current got hold of this home in the fall of 2013.



BATHS: 2 full, 1 half


SALE PRICE: $925,000

OTHER STUFF: This home comes with deeded parking space for one car.

617 S. American St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147 [Paul Fontaine | Keller Williams Center City]