Jawdropper of the Week: Pop Art in Merion Station
There are two kinds of fans of Modernism: the purists and the postmodernists.
The purists would no doubt recoil in horror once they set foot inside this classic Midcentury Modern home in Merion Station, designed in 1953 by Philadelphia architect Harry Sternfeld and possessing a rear facade that looks deceptively like one of Lower Merion’s highly-rated public schools.
The current owner has tastes that are clearly eclectic: vintage and modern furniture sit cheerfully side by side throughout the house, which itself is something of a riot of color and drenched in abundant light by that wall of windows on one side. Those same windows offer beautiful views of the home’s herringbone stone terrace and landscaped grounds.
As Mies van der Rohe said, “God is in the details,” and this home was built with plenty of attention to them. Soaring beamed ceilings in the main living spaces add to the sense of spaciousness. There’s imported Italian marble in the foyer, a Carrera marble hearth for the living room fireplace, and built-in oak-paneled bookshelves and a slate fireplace in the den. Modern stainless-steel appliances fit right in with the crisp lines of the kitchen’s cabinets and terrazzo tile floor.
You’ll also find Carrera marble on the mantle of the master bedroom fireplace along with a wall of custom-fitted closets. The three bedrooms on the second floor can be accessed from a separate outside entrance, and one of them has an en suite bathroom.
There’s a powder room, laundry facilities, and more exits to the outside in the partly finished basement, and the two-car drive-through garage can also be used as a home office, as the current owner is doing.
There’s also a gazebo on the nearly 1.3-acre grounds that could use a little sprucing up.
If you’re the sort of person who enjoys entertaining indoors and out, this home will suit your needs very well. And if you’re one of those modernist purists, well, you can always paint the walls and ceilings white.
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 3 full, 2 half
SQUARE FEET: 5,213
SALE PRICE: $1,500,000
OTHER STUFF: Don’t let the splendid isolation of its park-like setting fool you: this home is actually a convenient walk from SEPTA Regional Rail, local shopping, dining, and a public library, among other destinations.
351 N. Highland Ave., Merion Station, Pa. 19066 [Randy Myer | BHHS Fox & Roach]