Peak Teak in Spruce Hill for $549K

This symphony in wood is like no other home you've seen in Philadelphia. Or its suburbs, for that matter.

111 S. 43rd St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 | TREND images via BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors

The owner of the popular “McMansion Hell” blog would probably ding the super-tall portico on the “Chateau de Paix” for its outsize scale and spindly columns. It certainly violates all the rules of decorum for Victorian row homes in University City, matching those more-money-than-taste facades you see in parts of South Philly.

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Step inside the front door of this absolutely stunning rebuild and all is forgiven outside. The owner of this typical 1870s row home in the heart of University City’s Spruce Hill neighborhood has turned it into a one-of-a-kind masterwork that puts a classical spin on contemporary style.

You’ll understand why that front portico is so tall the moment you take in the dramatic two-story high living room and its fireplace. This space forms the front portion of an open-plan main floor that continues on into the dining room and kitchen behind it.

The house employs a mostly classical architectural vocabulary, a nod to its long history, but it throws in some flatly contemporary elements, like the fireplace chimney and the spiral staircase. Bridging the two worlds is all that teak: teak on the dining-room walls, teak on the ceiling, teak on the balcony railings, teak in the master bedroom. The carpenter who owned and rebuilt this house loved that warm-colored wood.

Speaking of the master bedroom, it’s the centerpiece of a full-floor suite on the second floor. Up front, a home office overlooks the living room; in back, there’s a skylit sitting room; in between is a teak-framed bedroom and a stylish bathroom.

The third floor could form another suite all its own. The front room, with its built-in shelves and display, could function as a living room, and there’s a second kitchen and full bathroom on this floor along with two more bedrooms.

This truly original and spacious home is close to Clark Park, Penn Alexander School and the Penn campus, and several fine restaurants nearby. SEPTA buses on Chestnut and Walnut streets take you to Center City, and the Market-Frankford Line a little further away gets you there faster.



BATHS: 2 full, 1 half


SALE PRICE: $549,000

OTHER STUFF: This home’s sale price has been reduced twice, the most recent being a $50,000 reduction on Jan. 5.

111 S. 43rd St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 [Kim Adu | BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors]