the history of the home: Anthropologie's Rittenhouse Square location

Anthropologie’s store on Rittenhouse Square was originally the Fell-Van Rensselaer House. Sarah Drexel Fell (yes, of that Drexel Family) was widowed and then married Alexander Van Rensselaer. The house was completed in 1898. The original Tiffany dome and a ceiling with portraits of Italian Dodges, as well as fireplaces and some details remain. Click the photo to view 10 photos taken as demolition was beginning on the interior as its life as a family home ended. Watch out for the shot of the fireplace that seems to hang on the wall as you walk up to the 2nd level of the modern day store.

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Cozy City Home

Right now I’m working with a couple who are looking to purchase in Center City Philadelphia- and the search started with an amazing home. A quick walk from Rittenhouse Square- this trinity home (a Philadelphia Registered Historic Home no less!) on 16th Waverly appears to have popped out of an architecture/home decor magazine. Check out the 2nd bedroom, which the current owner uses as a den- complete with exposed wooden beams, original hardwood floors- and a wood burning fire place you can’t see in the photo.

If you know anyone who is looking for a place with character in the heart of center city that is 100% move in ready- let me know!

1 Bedroom Walk Up in Fitler Square!

A third floor walk-up just became available on the gorgeous Delancey Place in Fitler Square at $1,250/month! Built in book shelves and some exposed brick. If anyone is interested let me know!

Rittenhouse in the late 1800s

I often pass by huge gorgeous old brownstones in Philadelphia and wonder what it was like to live there when it was a single family home- not apartments, a museum, a library… etc that is today. I’ve walked by the Stotesbury Mansion on Rittenhouse, built in 1870 many times and wondered about its history. Did you know that it was a wedding present for Thomas McKean, a descendent of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence? In 1890, Mr. Edward T. Stotesbury purchased the home as an addition to his adjoining residence with the press calling it the largest and grandest townhouse in all of the East Coast.

Click the link for more history (including the squash court added on the 5th floor and entire Georgian ballroom imported from an English manor)!

Rittenhouse Coffe Shop

Yesterday I posted this picture of an abandoned coffee shop on Rittenhouse Square (on the backside of the empty lot on the square) on my Instagram (sambrando). I randomly stumbled upon this article today (click the photo) about that coffee shop and The Warwick (built in 1885) next door. In 2003 the PPA bought the buildings, gave Warwick residents 30 days to move out, and then did nothing but let it deteriorate. Of course there were battles with preservationists, and now the Walnut Rittenhouse Associates owns the buildings, which they purchased in 2007 for $36.7 million. WRA currently owes approximately $360,000 in tax liens. Will they ever be restored…….?

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