Just Listed: Wesley Emmons’s 19th-Century Gem in Rittenhouse
Eight years after his passing, "Jogging Jeweler" Wesley Emmons' studio, showroom and home are coming on the market. Here's a look at how a true original lived.
Talk about “burying the lede”!
(“Lede” is how editors often spell “lead” so that the start of a news story isn’t confused for some heavy metal.)
Here’s how the listing for this most original residence in Rittenhouse Square’s southeast quadrant begins:
“Rarely offered, unique opportunity on 16th St. just off Rittenhouse Square. This property presents two options. With CMX-3 zoning on a 20×120 lot, this is ripe for redevelopment/re-purpose — a condo conversion, apartments, a mixed-use building, etc. — there’s an array of possibilities.”
It’s not until you get to the next sentence that you get a clue to why this is a “rarely offered, unique opportunity.”
It’s truly unique because it’s the only place renowned jewelry designer Wesley Emmons, Jr., called home for more than 40 years. The “jogging jeweler” lived here and ran his business on its first floor from 1964 until his death in 2011.
In his more than 60 years of designing jewelry and decorative objects, Emmons produced many notable and distinctive works that have been displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Woodmere Art Museum, the Philadelphia Art Alliance and the University of the Arts, his alma mater. He designed jewelry for Eleanor Roosevelt and a cross for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His works also include an altarpiece for Old Zion Lutheran Church on North Broad Street and the silver medallion outstanding UArts students receive when they graduate.
With such a wide variety of work to his credit, you might expect to find a similar eclecticism about his residence. And you’d be right.
The furniture, lighting and objects he collected generally respect the house’s 19th-century bones. But not all of them: you’ll find track floodlights emanating from crystal chandeliers, a modern ceiling fan in a funky basement bedroom, and wire storage racks next to plush sofas.
This house remains in the state Emmons left it in, which makes it a fascinating window into the soul of a truly creative spirit.
You now have the chance to exercise similar creativity by buying it. As noted, its CMX-3 zoning means you can use it as both residence and business; this makes it an ideal space for an artist, craftsperson, designer or professional office. Make this your live/work space and you will also enjoy easy, convenient access to the Avenue of the Arts, Rittenhouse Square and Rittenhouse Row, the eclectic Washington Square West dining and nightlife scene and so much more.
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 2 full, 3 half
SQUARE FEET: 2,620
SALE PRICE: $1,700,000
258 S. 16th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19102 [Kristie Bergey | Copper Hill Real Estate]