On the west side of Center City Philadelphia, there is a little row, not even a full block long, of beautiful row homes, nestled within a private gate. Walking through is like going back in time, or to the local renassaince faire.
This will be an evolving feature as I can’t find a thing about these row homes on the web. However, we’ll keep searching.
Below are some photos we took on a recent jog through the Rittenhouse neighborhood in Philadelphia.
Actually, this little oasis of “highly restricted” (their words, not mine) English gentility was completed in early 1924. If you can manage to get hold of a copy of American Builder magazine for May 1924, there is an article in it covering the recent completion of this little complex, complete with details of construction costs ($650,000 for the whole place in 1924 dollars) and first sales (about $27,000 each, except for the two at either side of the entrance, which went for $30,500 a piece, apparently due to their location) and photographs. Each unit, according to the part of the article I can read, is identical floor plan, but with different front elevation to provide for the unique appearance of each unit. It was originally designed and built to allow two-way auto traffic at the time, bearing in mind the relatively narrow width of cars at the time I suppose.
This magazine is currently (as of the date of this comment) available on ebay for the “paltry” sum of $64.99! But there is a photograph of the first page of the article, and it is quite legible.
By the way, the one on the left side at the end, shown here in the photo captioned “The one on the end is quite charming” has been up and down for sale and for rent in the last year or so, and after coming off the market at something around $650,000, is now up again for rent for $3,500 a month. Three beds, 2 baths, full private basement access from back patio area. First, last and 1 month security deposit due at lease signing. It’s currently available to be seen on zillow, as of today. I suppose as soon as someone with around 10 grand ($3,500X3) available to rent a place comes along, it will be gone.
Sorry ~ that should be “At the end of the row is quite charming.”
Thank you for all this wonderful information! I can see how these would certainly be quite the row house catch. I wonder about the cars, the block ends at another block and seems tricky for a car, even a small car, to navigate. Then again, our single-wide street is two way so who’s to say. That rent is something else but you do get an entire house and you’re facing a lovely row instead of a street so maybe worth it to some? Anyway, thanks again for sharing your knowledge about this very charming row!
You’re quite welcome! I found your page after finding the American Builder magazine issue to which I referred on eBay ~ I collect them, having developed a rather unique interest in vintage architecture, kit and plan book homes, etc. I decided to see if the place was still standing, having discovered over time that many examples of our unique architectural heritage have fallen to the bulldozer and wrecking ball in the misguided attempt to show the notion that “newer is always better.” NOT! I was quite pleased (and very much relieved) to find these not only still standing, but being lived in and properly maintained! In searching on the Internet for furter information, I found your site pop up first, as well as photos on Pinterest, Flickr, and Houzz, and Zillow also. Houzz showed the restoration of the kitchen in one of the units there that was beautifully done, with a bright red vintage-style stove setting off medium gray cabinets. It is just stunning!
Thanks for keeping all the great old architecture alive in the minds of those seeking knowledge of it!