Just Listed: Converted Carriage House in East Falls
"Chapel in the woods" might be a better term to describe this truly unique farmlet that's surrounded by the city but feels a world away from it.
The part of East Falls through which School House Lane runs is the toniest part of the neighborhood. Here you find a slew of distinctive and distinguished houses, including several midcentury modern masterpieces, set well back from the main streets and surrounded by trees.
You can take your pick of the midcentury masters on the rare occasions they come up for sale. Colonials, Tudors and the occasional Victorian also come round every so often. But something like this house for sale comes along only once in a blue moon.
The listing describes this peaked-roof beauty as a converted carriage house. To our eyes, however, it looks more like a converted church.
That feeling is only amplified by the second-floor family room, one of the few spaces we’ve run across recently where the term “cathedral ceiling” actually fits. Between the angled wood bracing, the row of modern chandeliers, and the staircases at the far end, one senses something holy — or at least wholly original — about this space.
Speaking of space, this house offers you a lot of it in uninterrupted form on the lower floor. Here you will find a mudroom, a home office space, a utility room, a powder room and an open kitchen with a flexible open space next to it.
The bathrooms and the kitchen make good use of upcycled barn wood. The kitchen has open shelves instead of cabinets, save for the very commodious pantry. It also has hand-poured concrete counters and a Thermador gas stove with double oven.
The space next to the kitchen currently holds a large dining table, but there’s enough room here that you could configure it as an everyday-living suite if you wish by adding a sectional and coffee table.
The top-floor master suite is your personal sanctuary. It has the same cathedral ceiling as the family room and a bathroom with dual vanities, a subway-tile-lined shower and a soaking tub against an upcycled wood wall.
The 1.35-acre lot on which this house for sale sits is set so far back from the road that you will feel you’re in the country. The trees that ring its clearings add to that feel.
So does the chicken coop on the property.
Yet this woodsy retreat sits in the middle of a city neighborhood, and urban amenities lie close at hand — Manayunk’s shops and restaurants, the East Falls commercial district, and central Germantown are all a short distance away. So are Thomas Jefferson University’s East Falls campus and two SEPTA Regional Rail stations.
THE FINE PRINT
BATHS: 2 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 3,608
SALE PRICE: $899,900
3535 W. School House Lane, Philadelphia, Pa. 19129 [Brooke Willmes | Brooke & Co. | Space & Company]
Updated Dec. 12th, 12:17 p.m., to add photographer credit.