A True Original in Glenside for $530K

Will yours be the next life that's touched by this oldest home in Glenside? Or will yours be the next life that touches this home and rewrites its history again?

2539 Church Rd., Glenside, Pa. 19038 | Photos: Vizzi Edberg, Edberg Solutions, via Janet Ames unless otherwise indicated

If ever you doubted that houses are also living things, this Colonial farmhouse in Glenside should remove all doubt.

This is no “revival.” It didn’t have to be revived, for it’s the genuine article, six years older than the nation. It’s also the oldest house in Glenside.

Aerial view of “Sunnyside” estate

Known now as “Sunnyside,” this home has passed through the hands of about 16 different owners in its 248-year history. Some of those owners put their own stamp on this house. One of them was probably someone with the last name of Bartlett, who built the one-story stone addition to the main house sometime around 1850.

Family room, former studio and gallery of Claire Brehme; one of her mosaics appears over the fireplace at right

Another is artist Claire Brehme. She and her husband Erich acquired this property in 1936, and for the next 35 years, it served as her residence and studio. She is the reason that 1850 addition, which served as both her studio and her gallery, has 1940s segmented picture windows as well as its interior appearance.


She is the woman who gave this estate its present name and endowed it with her own creative spark, visible in the mosaics that hang over the studio’s wood-stove fireplace and occupy one wall of the barn-turned-garage.

Garage eaves

The carved faces of children on the garage’s eaves are hers as well.

Living room

Dining room

The original home, however, retains all of its 18th-century character, right down to the beamed ceilings and the original kitchen hearth fireplace in its dining room.


A two-story wood-frame rear addition (year of construction unknown) brought indoor plumbing to the house; this addition contains the home’s kitchen and all three-and-a-half of its bathrooms.


One of those bathrooms got remodeled around the time Brehme made over her studio. It’s in like-new condition.

Breakfast room

So are the sunny, skylit breakfast room off the kitchen and the remodeled powder room between them.


So are most of this home’s innards and structural elements, for its current owners have left their mark on this place by keeping up the things you don’t see as well as some you do, like the new Fisher & Paykel dishwasher in the kitchen.

Pool and rear elevation

They’re now retiring to Ireland, where one half of the couple comes from. This means it’s your turn to write the next chapter in its history. The current owners have even left you some opportunities for major revisions, like the insulated but unfinished space on the garage’s second floor that’s currently used as a gym; it could serve, for instance, as studio space, workspace or in-law suite.

Its wooded lot includes a small stream that flows through it. It also blends nearly seamlessly with the wooded Arcadia University campus across Church Road.



BATHS: 3 full, 1 half


SALE PRICE: $529,900

OTHER STUFF: In addition to Brehme’s embedded artwork and documentation of this home’s history, you’ll get this 1916 Cheltenham Township survey that includes this property as part of the deal. It currently hangs on the wall of the breakfast room:

Photo: Sandy Smith

2539 Church Rd., Glenside, Pa. 19038 [Janet Ames | RE/MAX Executive Realty]

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