Past Meets Present in Society Hill for $1.95M

This historically certified 19th-century home has been given new life thanks to a 21st-century heart transplant.

273 S. 4th St. (left), Philadelphia, Pa. 19106 | Bright MLS images via Keller Williams Realty

The owner of this elegant and spacious 1800s townhome in the heart of Society Hill is no doubt grateful that the Philadelphia Historical Commission cares very little, if at all, what one does with the interior of a historically certified home.

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For if it did, we wouldn’t have this striking mix of past and present to show you.

This home’s traditional detailing — the high ceilings, the crown moldings, the turned wood staircase railings, the wainscoting, the built-in china closets, and the fireplaces, all of which save maybe one now appear to be merely decorative — has become backdrop and decoration for a totally contemporary home.

The first floor’s three distinct spaces — living room, dining room, kitchen — remain distinct from each other and from the entrance hall that runs beside them, but the high ceilings and large archways bring them as close to an open plan as one can get without simply demolishing the interior walls.

The kitchen itself is modern and sleek through and through, that chandelier in the breakfast nook notwithstanding. It’s also outfitted for a pro, with a commercial-grade Viking range and extra-large Sub-Zero refrigerator. Large windows facing east and south flood the breakfast nook with light and bring the handsome brick rear and side terraces inside.

The entire second floor has been transformed into a master suite you may never want, or have, to leave, except to get something to eat downstairs. In addition to the huge bedroom, it includes a sitting room with marble wood-burning fireplace, a den/office overlooking the rear patio, and an all-new bathroom with walk-in shower and freestanding tub, the whole encased in frosted glass.

The upper two floors each contain two bedrooms and a renovated bathroom with Carrara marble tile floors and raised subway tile walls. The third floor also has a sunny rear deck.

The basement has been updated to function as a comfortable media or family room. You’ll also find a room that could function as office, play or sleeping space and laundry facilities down here.

And in addition to all this, this home gives you a location close to all kinds of fun and interesting places to go: Shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in Old City. South Street and Head House Square. Penn’s Landing and the Delaware riverfront. And, of course, the Historic Square Mile, of which this home is actually a part.

A note to the listing agent: This home is plenty of things, gorgeous being the best of them, but it is most emphatically not a brownstone. There’s not a single brown stone to be found on its classic red-brick exterior.


BEDS: 5 (or 6)

BATHS: 3 full, 1 half


SALE PRICE: $1,950,000

OTHER STUFF: The seller will include a year of prepaid parking at a nearby garage with an acceptable offer. This home is also being offered as a rental for $9,500 per month on a short- or long-term lease, furnished or unfurnished.

273 S. 4th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106 [Andrea Desy | Keller Williams Realty]