If The Barclay’s facade and exquisite canopy at the main entrance remind you of buildings you’ve seen on Park Avenue in New York City, it might be because J.E.R. Carpenter, the Barclay’s architect, designed many notable buildings along both Fifth and Park Avenues in the city. Occupying a swath of S. 18th Street at the corner of Rittenhouse Square Park and built as a hotel in 1929 (it opened in October right before the stock market crash), this 22-story Classical Revival brick and limestone building looks much as it always has outside. Inside, however, The Barclay has definitely changed with the times as it went from hotel to ultra-luxury condominiums beginning in the 1990s.
The lobby was designed to impress and still does, with polished marble, crystal chandeliers and and rich wood paneling in the waiting area.
There are many residences at The Barclay that are large — really large, as in 5,000 square feet and sometimes bigger — so for the person decamping from a large suburban residence, this can be a good option that won’t make one feel cramped, or deprived of storage. Every unit in the The Barclay is unique in terms of finishes and style — many have very traditional details as far as moldings and millwork — but kitchens and baths can go very modern. Not surprisingly, price per square foot depends on upon exposure (west and north views are more likely to give park and skyline views) and updates. Some rentals also are available in The Barclay, though they tend to be smaller one-bedroom units.