The Lion's Den

News & Views About Real Estate in the Greater Philadelphia Area

Estate Residence, Clock Tower Included

A recent “Extraordinary Living” blog post from Sotheby’s International Realty looks at homes with towers. They overlooked one very special, very historical property on Philadelphia’s Main Line that does indeed have its own tower complete with functional clock that chimes on the hour. And like the homes showcased by SIR on the blog, this tower also adds an artistic element to the property and a unique interior space.

The Albermarle clock tower office building at dusk.

Albermarle is a 17-acre property in the heart of Villanova that once was part of the storied 750-acre Ardrossan estate owned by the Montgomery Scott family. This portion of Ardrossan included stables, living quarters for staff, a dairy barn and a clock tower office building from which to manage this part of the estate. These facilities were built prior to 1930.

Today, each building has been carefully restored by top artisans, and the stables were expanded to become a magnificent-yet-comfortable main residence that feels like it could have been plucked from the English countryside, complete with gardens, hardscaping and pastoral views reminiscent of the U.K.’s country estates. The staff quarters now are two fully updated, complete guest accommodations. The barn has been rebuilt and now offers a party/game room with an exercise room above. Believe us when we tell you the views from the treadmill are incomparable.

Albermarle clock tower room

A view of the restored hexagonal tower room at Albermarle. The paneling is original to the room.

Albermarle’s clock tower building still houses offices, though these days the occupants are focused on Wall Street over equine pursuits. Melodically and gently, the 1917 Seth Thomas clock chimes on the hour. This building’s hexagonal tower portion now houses a conference room, and those lucky enough to attend a meeting there will get to see the clock’s fully restored mechanicals. The room showcases the original, restored, warm wood paneling with a coffered, 11-foot ceiling, far more charming than a typical corporate office building, to say the least. The conference room also has a fireplace. This building is fully wired for today’s business needs and includes several offices, a kitchen, full bath, powder room and reception area. Because of this well-outftted office space and the adjacent guest houses, this property has great potential for the buyer seeking a home base from which to run a business with local, regional or global interests.

An aerial view of the Albermarle estate

An aerial view of the Albermarle estate

Albermarle is a unique estate, very private, yet convenient to Philadelphia International Airport, Center City Philadelphia, Amtrak train service and the Main Line’s finest clubs, schools and shops. It is offered at $19,750,000. For more information, please contact listing agent Lisa Weber Yakulis: 610.517.8445.

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