The Lion's Den

News & Views About Real Estate in the Greater Philadelphia Area

Some ‘Firsts’ In Our Historical House Inventory

Flemish bond brickwork and a fanlight window above the front door are but two lovely details at this home.

Flemish bond brickwork and a fanlight window above the front door are but two lovely details at the Jonathan Haines House in Medford, N.J.

Historical Houses in Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Here on the East Coast, we have an outstanding number of wonderful, antique homes, and in fact, here at Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty, we have the privilege of representing quite a few each year, some in Philadelphia, some in the suburbs of Bucks, Chester and Montgomery counties and some in New Jersey. Recently, Eric Axelson in our Philadelphia office listed the oldest home in Medford, N.J., the Jonathan Haines House, built in 1760. You can view a slideshow of this home here and note the millwork, flooring, fireplaces and exterior brickwork — they don’t build them like this anymore.

The Bird in Hand in Newtown, Pa., dates to 1686. It is the oldest frame home still in use in Pennsylvania.

The Bird in Hand in Newtown, Pa., dates to 1686. It is the oldest frame home still in use in Pennsylvania.

Another very notable historical home in our inventory is Bird in Hand in Newtown Borough in Bucks County, Pa. Listed by owner/agent Betsy Hunt of our New Hope office, this house dates to 1686 and has been used as a tavern, jail for Hessian soldiers after the Battle of Trenton, a bakery and, of course, a private home. Completely updated since 2008 with much of its detail well preserved (seven fireplaces!), it offers a rich living environment for the next lucky owner. It also has a separate studio/garage and in-law apartment.

What these two and most other antique homes share is a warmth that is hard to replicate in new construction. Sure, floors can be a little crooked or show signs of wear, walls might be imperfect, windows might have the “wavy” glass, but for those of us who love these early homes, that’s OK. In fact, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

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