Just Listed: Rehabbed Rowhouse in Girard Estate

Not only does this sweet rehab job depart from the Generic Modern Philly Rowhouse Rehab standard, the interior designer came up with a clever solution to the Problem of the Tiny Middle Bedroom.

rehabbed girard estate rowhouse for sale exterior front

By leaving in some of the original details and sweating the new ones, the developer and designer of this rehabbed South Philly rowhouse took it a step or two beyond the generic. It’s located at 2634 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19145 | Bright MLS images via Keller Williams Realty

Something every Philadelphia rowhouse-hunter faces at some point in their search for the ideal domicile is this:

A rowhouse built sometime between the two World Wars, before the Airlite design took the city’s rowhouse-building community by storm.

Every one of these houses comes with an especially devilish “amenity”: a middle bedroom just barely big enough to fit a full-sized mattress in. That is, if the bedroom’s even that big.

These bedrooms usually end up serving one of three purposes: as a nursery for a little one, as a home office, or as the room where you store all the stuff you don’t want to put in the basement.

The builder and interior designer who went to work on this rehabbed Girard Estate rowhouse for sale faced this problem square on and chose a variation on Option One. And like everything else in this house, the solution is a notch or two above the generic Philadelphia rehab job.

And just like with everything else that rises above the plane of the generic in some way, this rehab does so in the way it handles the details.

rehabbed girard estate rowhouse for sale main floor

Main floor

The first thing the builder and designer did right here was not strip it of all its old design elements. The crenellated cornices, the wrought-iron staircase railings and the original hardwood on the stairs all made it into this house intact, giving this Generic Philly Rowhouse Rehab a slight South Philly accent.

rehabbed girard estate rowhouse for sale living room

Living room

Another thing they did right was depart from the pure modernist standard in choosing what modern accoutrements to mix in. Like the Art Deco-inspired ceiling-fan light fixtures in both the main-floor living room and the master bedroom, the similarly inspired chandelier over the dining-room table, and the use of a glass-block wall to replace the window from the dining room onto the light well in back.

rehabbed girard estate rowhouse for sale dining room

Dining room

The offset stone wall with electric fireplace (one of two such fireplaces in this house) serves to both delineate and tie together the living and dining spaces.



The kitchen departs from the generic by eschewing the obligatory island, which would have been too small to be of any practical use here anyway, and inserting a dry bar with china cabinets and seating for two against the opposite wall. The herringbone-tile backsplash on the bar also adds a bit of visual pop.

master bedroom

Master bedroom

Also adding a bit of visual pop are the cathedral ceiling, plantation shutters and built-in display shelves they put in the master bedroom at the front of the second floor.

middle bedroom

Middle bedroom

But their masterstroke came with the designer’s choice of bedroom furniture for that tiny middle bedroom. There’s room for a crib for when the little one’s real little, but the elevated bed with storage beneath means the child won’t outgrow this room the moment they start walking.



They also did a nice job remaking the full bathroom, with marble tile floors and wainscoting and contemporary fixtures.

basement media room

Basement media room

And they outfitted the basement as a media room, choosing a white version of the same storage shelf found in the living room to place under the big-screen TV here and adding another dry bar. You’ll also find that other electric fireplace down here.

The only space they left alone in making over this rehabbed Girard Estate rowhouse for sale was the paved backyard, which is big enough to accommodate both a deluxe grill and a storage shed. Here’s your chance to leave your own stamp on this makeover by making that rear patio greener.

Getting where you want to go from here won’t be much of a problem once the COVID restrictions go away, or for that matter, even now: this house lies just off Oregon Avenue and three blocks from the Broad Street Line’s Oregon station. Both the subway station and the Routes 7 and G buses are in service, enabling you to reach Center City, the big-box stores at Pier 70 and Columbus Commons, and other points easily.

Any details we didn’t point out here? Oh, yeah, these:



BATHS: 1 full, 1 half


SALE PRICE: $389,900

2634 S. 17th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19145 [Mario Tropea Jr. | Keller Williams Philadelphia]