Just Listed: “Philadelphia School” Townhouse in Society Hill

This mid-century modern townhouse by a member of a leading Philadephia School architecture firm demonstrates why Edmund Bacon’s surgical approach to renewing Society Hill worked so well.

house for sale society hill mid-century modern townhouse exterior front

Architect Lorna Katz understood the spirit of Ed Bacon’s Society Hill urban renewal project perfectly, as this well-mannered modern townhouse she designed at 305 Gaskill St., Philadelphia, PA 19147 demonstrates. While clearly modern in style, it plays very well with its much older neighbors. / Photographs by Stephen Edwards Photography via Compass

If you haven’t heard of Lorna Katz before, you now have a reason to learn about her in the form of this Society Hill mid-century modern townhouse for sale.

Why? She’s the architect who designed it in 1977.

Now the principal partner (in business and in life, it appears) with John Lawson in the architecture firm that bears his name, Katz got her start in the field at Mitchell/Giurgola Architects, one of the leading firms of the Philadelphia School. (That firm split into two separate firms, one headquartered in New York and the other a women-owned firm based here.)

Katz’s bio on the John Lawson Architects website says that she specializes in interior design, and you will soon see how good she is at that. But the outside of this house should not go unremarked, either, for it offers yet another example of why Ed Bacon’s Society Hill urban renewal plan stood head and shoulders above the other projects of the “urban renewal” era.

While this house came along after the Society Hill makeover was completed, it fits in with the vision Bacon had of a neighborhood where old and new blended harmoniously. Look how well the facade of this house blends in with the older ones that flank it.

house for sale society hill mid-century modern townhouse kitchen


Step inside and you will immediately understand why Katz is praised for her interiors, however. The front door opens directly into a stylish modern kitchen, most likely one that got upgraded since this house was built.

But whoever upgraded it did a very good job of fitting it in with Katz’s overall design. The main floor of this house has an open plan that at the same time distinguishes among its spaces.

house for sale society hill mid-century modern townhouse main floor

Main floor

It does so via four steps that lead up from the kitchen to the spiral staircase and living room.

house for sale society hill mid-century modern townhouse living room

Living room

The living room has a fireplace and a dry bar in an alcove that’s also open to the kitchen below.

house for sale society hill mid-century modern townhouse rear patio

Rear patio

Three steps then lead down from the living room to a gorgeous rear patio that’s designed as an outdoor living room.

family room

Family room

Back inside, the spiral stairs connect all four levels of the house. On the second floor, they open onto a family room with a balcony overlooking the living room.

home office

Home office

On the street-facing end of the floor is a home office. Your guests will access a full bathroom through it.

primary bedroom

Primary bedroom

The top floor contains the house’s one bedroom, part of a full-floor suite. It’s large enough to include a sitting area next to the stairs.

primary bathroom

Primary bathroom

primary bathroom

Primary bathroom

And it has a sumptuous yet stylish bathroom.

The partly finished basement at the bottom of the spiral staircase has a bonus room that currently serves as a home gym, the laundry and storage space in the unfinished part.

This Society Hill mid-century modern townhouse for sale is also located close to a plethora of places to shop, dine and carouse. South Street lies half a block to its south, and Head House Square sits a little more than a block to its east. This also means you have the Delaware riverfront, Fabric Row, Bainbridge Green, Old City and Washington Square within walking distance.

That makes this house a smart choice for anyone who wants to enjoy modern living in a historic neighborhood — and appreciates great architecture and design.


BEDS: 2 (the home office counts as a bedroom)



SALE PRICE: $875,000

305 Gaskill St., Philadelphia, PA 19i47 [Marion Dinofa | Compass]