Real Estate Showdown: A House in the Woods vs. a House by the Water

Both feel at one with the outdoors.

Philly Real Estate showdown wayne fishtown

Philly Real Estate Showdown: For $1.4 million, would you choose a Wayne house in the woods or a Fishtown house by the water?

One of the attractive features of modernist architecture is that it fits well with nature. Even if, as with the second of these two houses especially, it also stands apart from it.

Philly Real Estate showdown wayne fishtown

1151 Radnor Hill Road, Wayne

Consider the first, a low-slung property on a hillside in Wayne. Designed by Jonathan Lane in 1971, this house has a little of the Wright stuff in its Usonian facade.

And it brings in the outdoors, as so many Wright houses do, thanks to its floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors in the main living area. Skylights in the custom Bulthaup kitchen impart light as well.

An arbor-covered patio offers space for outdoor dining, and there’s also a seating area in the backyard. Wood framing on the living room windows and doors contrasts nicely with the predominantly white color scheme, and a balcony off the living room lets you commune with nature in the open.

The lower level has a walkout front terrace and a rec room whose stone fireplace has been fitted with a woodstove.

3210 Birchview Walk, Fishtown

The second property is in the Northbank development, a 900-plus-unit townhouse and condo community on the Delaware at Fishtown’s northern edge.

Philly Real Estate showdown wayne fishtown

It’s a corner unit whose lot extends to the riverbank, and multiple balconies give the owners chances to drink in the view. Eight-foot-high windows and sliding doors in the living room offer a chance to take in the sights from inside.

The kitchen has Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, and a large walk-in pantry is fronted by French doors. The top-floor primary suite is an apartment in itself, with a private balcony, a spa bath, a wet bar with a wine fridge, and a bonus space that could serve as a gym.

Finally, a roof deck offers a wraparound look at the river.

Published as “A House in the Woods vs. a House by the Water” in the June 2024 issue of Philadelphia magazine.