Just Listed: Subdivided Frank Furness-Designed Mansion in Fitler Square

This 1890 gem has been cut up into eight Airbnb rental apartments. If you want to live in it, you can save the income you earn on this house until the master lease runs out, then convert it into your own Frank Furness-designed mansion again.

house for sale Frank Furness filter square mansion aerial view

This gorgeous mansion was designed by Frank Furness in 1890. A recent renovation turned it into an eight-unit Airbnb. You can buy it as an investment and rake in the income, or you could turn it into your own spectacular residence when the master lease is up. It’s located at 2134 Spruce St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | Images via Philly Living Team, Keller Williams Philly

Want to live in a gorgeous Frank Furness-designed house, but don’t want to live in this one in Fishtown?

The good news: You now have a chance to do so in Fitler Square. The bad news: You’ll have to wait about 26 months before you can start making your desire a reality.

But if you don’t have to move right away, you can buy this beautifully renovated Airbnb in a Frank Furness Fitler Square mansion house for sale, set aside the income you will earn from its eight apartments, and then spend that income on turning it back into a fabulous Fiitler Square mansion again.

house for sale Frank Furness filter square mansion vestibule and lobby

Vestibule and lobby

Fortunately, the person who bought it sometime after 2016 and turned it from six apartments into an eight-unit Airbnb preserved the house’s interior architectural details, such as the fireplace on its main floor, and the alterations are also historically sensitive, or at least they are in the public areas. Just knock out the walls that cut the rooms off from the hallway and you have your living and dining rooms again at least.

house for sale Frank Furness filter square mansion unit 6 foyer

Foyer, Unit 6: Kitchen on the left, living/bedroom on the right

house for sale Frank Furness filter square mansion unit 6 living/bedroom

Unit 6 living/bedroom

unit 6 bathroom

Unit 6 bathroom

And while the conversion also stuck kitchens into every one of the eight units — an efficiency, a studio and a one-bedroom unit are pictured here — it shouldn’t be all that big a deal to remove them from the places where you no longer want or need them. (Given that you should have five or six upstairs bedrooms remaining after you’ve done your thing downstairs, you might want to give some thought to turning one of them into an in-law apartment; Unit 6, pictured above, would make a good candidate. Or you could even keep it as an Airbnb and let your visiting guests help pay your mortgage even after you move into it.)

unit 4 living room/kitchen

Unit 4 living room/kitchen

unit 4 bedroom

Unit 4 bedroom. This unit could form the nucleus of the primary suite

Of course, you will no doubt want to turn part of one upper floor into your own personal retreat, which means that one of the en-suite bathrooms will require a major upgrade. But the ones that exist now are attractive, if basic, and some of them could be upgraded without major expense.

unit 5

Unit 5

Turning one bedroom into a home office and another into a family room or den will also cut down on the number of bedrooms. By the time you’ve finished your conversion, you could end up with anywhere from three to six bedrooms.

And you will end up with a most conveniently situated home: You will be living across the street from Trinity Episcopal Church, a two-block walk from the 20th Street restaurant row, four blocks from the South Square Market and two from Walnut Street and the shops and restaurants of Rittenhouse Row. From here you could walk to University City, too, and several nearby SEPTA bus routes can take you to places further away.

And if you don’t need to move or want to live in this Frank Furness Fitler Square mansion house for sale, well, you can still buy it as a very nice investment property and satisfy your urge to become an innkeeper.

front elevation

Exterior front

side elevation

Exterior side

We wish we could tell you something about this house’s history, but unfortunately, we couldn’t find much in the way of historical detail in an online search. It is part of an attached twin that has elements of Romanesque and Queen Anne decoration, and we also know that Furness, Evans & Co. designed at least two other houses on this block of Spruce Street. As this house is listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places, you will have to follow Historical Commission guidelines if and when you decide to remodel it. But you’d want to preserve its character anyway, wouldn’t you?


UNITS: 8, each with its own kitchen and bathroom


SALE PRICE: $3,300,000

OTHER STUFF: This house currently has a master lease that runs for three years from May 2020. If you want to turn this back into a single-family residence, you would need to wait until the master lease expires. This house also has a backyard that guests can access.

2134 Spruce St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 [Sabina Palermo | Philly Living Team | Keller Williams Philly via Homesnap]