Well hidden on the edge of 300 preserved acres in a location that looks and feels like pure countryside despite being 15 minutes from Center City Philadelphia, this residence is unlike any you’ve ever seen. Dating to the 1860s, the house was a stone manor in its time. The present owners, only the third since about 1900, doubled its original square footage with a well-planned addition of superb quality designed by Purdy O’Gwynn Architects. This collaboration created a new classic, a home where every finish, fixture, window and door fit the space perfectly, where flooring, millwork, and even new custom cabinetry marry sympathetically with the original. This is the calm center of the universe for a busy modern family, a tranquil artist’s retreat, a world where guests extend their stays, so enchanted are they with the home and its lush surroundings.
Indeed, the homeowners wanted the addition to embrace the property’s incredible natural surroundings, so walls of custom windows that mimic the home’s original sashes and French doors overlook gardens, mature trees and a pool. The heart of the home is a living room, expansive yet inviting, with several seating areas, a dining area lined with a bank of windows overlooking the infinity-edge pool/spa and a Rumford wood-burning fireplace trimmed in custom tile. Clever design elements open this room to the impeccably appointed, sun-washed cook’s kitchen and casual dining area. The kitchen opens to a brick terrace for al fresco dining overlooking the gardens. The terrace winds its way to the home’s original front porch, a favorite relaxation spot in summer. A music room, study with custom built-ins, and sunroom with exposed stone walls and a radiant-heated brick floor complete this floor. Tucked away is a terrace with a working fireplace, ready for grilling, should you wish.
Attached to the house is a very special retreat with its own outside entrance, a vaulted-ceiling room whose design was influenced by a chapel on Philadelphia’s St. Martins Lane. It is a nearly sound-proof space complete with bamboo floor, triple-pane windows, library shelving, huge double doors opening to a private balcony, its own special HVAC and perhaps the most important element for an artist: seclusion. Also accessible from this part of the house is a complete guest/au pair suite with kitchenette.
Private quarters are on the second floor. The main suite is the ultimate hideaway with a sitting room with gas fireplace, pocket doors opening to a timeless Carrera marble bath with steam shower and soaking tub, access to a veranda that mimics the sleeping porches of the last century and bedchambers with a full wall of oversized sash windows where custom power window treatments create privacy upon request. Guest quarters on the other side of the second floor include two large bedrooms that share a hall bath and a laundry room. The third floor has two bedrooms, a study and a full, updated bath, all with bird’s-eye views.
Bonus areas include: a finished lower level with a gym, access to the pool, media room and storage. An oversized attached 2+ car garage is heated and provides additional storage.
The renovation and expansion of a historical house, when done properly, is part art and part science. Here, the creativity shines but is appropriate in every way; the technical matters are well planned and impeccably maintained. It is the best of all worlds, where history and modern comforts meet and the division between them falls away.
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Distance: 0.63 Miles
Distance: 0.64 Miles
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