Jawdropper of the Week: A Fabulous Federal in Society Hill
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. That mural on the wall is actually historic woodblock-printed wallpaper produced by Zuber & Cie., the French manufacturer of painted wallpaper and fabrics. In business since 1797, the firm is the last in the world to continue to manufacture mural wallpaper in this fashion, and its prints also grace rooms at the White House.
Off the hallway are the formal living and dining rooms, each with an antique crystal chandelier and gas-burning fireplace. Beyond the dining room is a totally modern eat-in kitchen designed in period style by Clive Christian (check out the detailing on the island!). Past the sunny breakfast area, French doors open onto a beautiful formal garden that also provides access to your parking space.
Also at the end of the hallway is an oval stairway and elevator connecting all floors. Halfway up the stairway from the first floor to the second is a paneled library/family room for informal relaxation.
On the second floor is a master suite worthy of a President. It includes its own fireplace, dual dressing rooms and a sumptuous, up-to-date yet historically appropriate marble bath. There’s also a private office on this floor.
The third floor contains two more bedrooms, a full bathroom and a guest suite with its own marble bath. There’s also plenty of storage space.
You (and those friends and guests you choose to invite) can let your hair down, though, on the top floor, which has been converted into a full-floor multipurpose media/recreation room with wet bar, half bath, greenhouse and outdoor terrace with fantastic views of the city and bridges across the Delaware.
In the basement, you’ll find an au pair suite with its own full bath, another large multipurpose room, laundry facilities, a sauna and a gym.
From top to bottom, this home’s generous proportions (it’s 26 feet wide) and high ceilings lend an air of dignity to your entertaining, and its east-west orientation means the rooms get plenty of sunlight depending on the time of day.
Though we can’t imagine why you would want to, should you decide you need to get out of the house, you’re just a short walk from the many shopping, dining and entertainment options found in Old City, on South Street, and along the Delaware riverfront.
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 4 full, 3 half
SQUARE FEET: 9,062
SALE PRICE: $5,750,000
309 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106
309 S. 3rd St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106 [Mary Genovese Colvin | BHHS Fox & Roach]