Just Listed: Restored Rowhouse in Point Breeze
Rachel Street rescued this rowhouse from an aborted renovation effort and recovered its soul while making it thoroughly modern.
All over Philadelphia, you will find testimony to the doggedness and creativity of vinyl siding salespeople.
They managed to sell the stuff to owners of brick rowhouses by telling them it would make their carved wood cornices “maintenance-free.”
That they made those cornices ugly in the process mattered not to either seller or buyer.
Thankfully, it turns out, the vinyl siding has proven to be a pretty decent wood preservative. It has allowed rehabbers with an eye for character like Rachel Street to unwrap those cornices and restore them to their former glory.
Which she did with this classic early-20th-century house for sale on Pierce Street in Point Breeze.
When Street came across it, an abandoned restoration effort had left it something of a mess. In her own description, “the front brick was darkened with grime and the original cornice was covered in vinyl. The beginnings of the new mechanicals ran haphazardly throughout the house, which was halfway drywalled.”
So Street decided to start over. These pictures show you the result.
It’s sunny, airy and very modern, with a distinctly Scandinavian feel, yet it builds on this rowhouse’s strong bones.
The main way it does this is by letting the brick speak for itself. In exposing the brick party walls, Street did not glaze, smooth or repoint the brick. That gives the exposed brick walls in this house extra texture and liveliness, which transfers to the rooms they grace.
There are lots of character-adding touches in this restored house. One of the most noticeable is the distinctive hexagonal tile used to produce the kitchen backsplashes. The tile adds a strong graphic element that sets the kitchen off from the rest of the open main floor. The lighting and wall decorations in the staged main floor reinforce the angular lines of the kitchen tile.
Others include the factory-style sink in the main floor powder room and the sliding barn door over the second-floor front bedroom’s huge (and well-organized) walk-in closet.
The nicest one, however, is the one that restored its exterior character, namely, the uncovered cornice. It restored not only this house’s integrity but also that of the row of which it is a part.
This beauty sits in the heart of Point Breeze, close to Point Breeze Avenue and several SEPTA transit lines. Tasker-Morris station on the Broad Street Line is a pleasant six-and-a-half-block walk away.
Given the quality of workmanship and materials that went into this restoration, its sale price is also a pleasant surprise.
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 1 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 1,734
SALE PRICE: $319,000