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February 29, 2016

On the Market: Historic four-story Federal in Philly

1837 home was built to attract physicians near Pennsylvania Hospital

On The Market Homes
Washington Square Historic Home Source/

This 1837 home in Washington Square West was built as the neighborhood expanded around Pennsylvania Hospital.

When this Federal-style home was first built in 1837, documents show that it switched hands frequently that year, with each new owner paying just a dollar to get the house. Alas, the days of such bargain deals in Washington Square are long gone: Barring access to a time machine, you’ll now have to pay $2.3 million for the privilege of living in this four-story beauty on the 1000 block of Clinton St. near Pennsylvania Hospital.

Still, it has more than enough amenities to make it worth the price.

The home is “very unique, very historic looking,” listing agent Reid Rosenthal told PhillyVoice. “People love it when they walk in."

  • Home facts:
  • Price: $2.3 million
  • Size: 5,335 square feet
  • 4 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms
  • Listed by: Reid Rosenthal, BHHS Fox & Roach, Realtors

The 12-foot ceilings, eight marble fireplaces and 700-bottle wine cellar certainly make an impression. But, as impressive as it is, the home is never braggadocious. The downstairs den is cozy, and the upstairs family rooms are light and airy: perfectly inviting spaces to sit, read and relax.

"There's a library and a study that are some of my favorite rooms in the house," said Rosenthal.


The library has a silver-plated chandelier and a wood-burning fireplace with King of Prussia marble.

When this home was built, the neighborhood was expanding to make room for doctors from nearby Pennsylvania Hospital. To give you a sense of the times: the hospital back then still had a cow pasture out front so that patients could get fresh milk (it was BYOB, though — Bring Your Own Bovine.) 

On the ground floor there’s the den, with exposed beams, original hardwood flooring and original brick arches. Next to that is a pinewood kitchen with a dumbwaiter, so you can hoist your food directly to upper floors (the original “room service”!).


The den, outside the kitchen, has original brick arches.

Walking upstairs, you’ll pass through elegant parlors with Colonial-reproduction chandeliers and bedrooms warmed with roaring fireplaces (six out of the eight are in working condition). 


The master bedroom with (another!) marble fireplace.

There’s also an office with a waiting room, ideal for professionals in private practice, as well as a gated garden for passing away sunny afternoons.


The gated, private garden has a fountain and a brick path.

It just goes to show how much a dollar is worth.

See the full listing here