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Property For Sale
View more information about this historic property for sale in Pipersville, Pennsylvania

Stunning Victorian

Pipersville, PA
7017 N. Alma Avenue
Portland, OR 97203
Phone: (503) 308-0500

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Atlas Preservation

Mad Dog Primer

University of Oregon

Property Details: Introducing Froheim - House of Joy!!!     

Property Details: Introducing Froheim - House of Joy!!!
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Property Information
Introducing Froheim - House of Joy!!!
6925 Scotforth Road
Philadelphia, PA
Find it with Google™ Maps!
Price: $1,200,000
Bedrooms: 7
Bathrooms: 5.5
Square Feet: 9,000
Lot Description/Acreage:
Year Built:
Robert McGoodwin
Architectural Style:
Classical Revival
Contact Information
Name: Scott Laughlin
Phone: 215-275-1685
Email: Send an email...
Website: Visit the website...
    Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA
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Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA
Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA
Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA
Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA
Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA Click for a larger image! Historic real estate listing for sale in Philadelphia, PA
Property History
As is my nature, please allow me to provide you with yet another magical history tour before talking about Froheim!

In the 19th century, the area now known as Chestnut Hill and West Mt. Airy was a sleepy farming community that was a "great distance" from the city of Philadelphia (11 miles, actually). As with many of the developments that began in earnest, they were predicated by the railroads. Henry Houston was a railroad tycoon & real estate developer who laid the initial tracks that now comprise the SEPTA R-8 (or Chestnut Hill West as it is now known!) line through the heart of Chestnut Hill.

Mr. Houston's daughter (Gertrude Houston) married Dr. George Woodward in 1894. Dr. Woodward was an unlikely candidate for real estate development, having just finished his medical degrees at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania. However, he quickly gave up his medical career to come back to Philadelphia (to marry Gertrude) and entered the real estate development business after Mr. Houston's death in 1895. The Houston & Woodward families are responsible for almost all of the development of the greater Chestnut Hill area from the late 1800's through the 1930's.

At the turn of the century, Dr. Woodward engaged a triumvirate of influential Architects (H. Louis Duhring, Edmund Gilchrist & Robert McGoodwin) that, together, designed more than 200 properties for Dr. Woodward in Northwest Philadelphia.

Robert McGoodwin earned his architectural degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and had worked for a period of time for Horace Trumbauer. However, he took advantage of a scholarship that allowed him the luxury of touring most of Europe to study the classic buildings. These travels heavily influenced his designs & provided the inspiration for this Cotswold Revival country home at 6925 Scotforth Road.

By the 1920’s, Mr. McGoodwin’s reputation for his work with Dr. Woodward provided him with additional bespoke commissions throughout N.W. Philadelphia and the immediately surrounding suburbs. My listing was commissioned & constructed for Mr. Hollis Wolstenholme. Mr. Wolstenholme was the Treasurer of a family-owned company by the name of Alfred Wolstenholme & Son. This firm was one of the largest producers of worsted & merino wools. He was also a Director of the Bank of Philadelphia & Trust Company, which later became part of Bankers Trust Company. Unfortunately, this financial institution failed during the Great Depression.

But before we talk about the house, a brief description of the nearby parkalnds that created the peaceful & private surroundings around my listing!

Fairmount Park as we know it today is the largest urban park in the United States, encompassing more than 2,800 acres. During the 19th Century, as the city of Philadelphia was expanding rapidly, there was cause for concern about the quality of the water supply, In the 1850’s, the newly expanded City of Philadelphia began acquiring large tracts of land around the “2nd” water reservoir (what is now the Philadelphia Museum of Art). In the 1860’s, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed Acts of Assembly which allowed the City to acquire even larger tracts of land, which included the Wissahickon Valley Park (right behind my listing). These permanently preserved open spaces became extremely desirable areas for the wealthy Philadelphians to construct their country houses along its borders.

At the entrance to Wissahickon Valley Park on Kitchen’s Lane, a former Monastery & barn was constructed in the 18th Century and fortunately has been preserved to this day! The City of Philadelphia acquired this property as part of the park expansion mentioned previously and used the facilities until the 1970’s for their mounted guard. Fortunately, the Friends of the Wissahickon were able to restore the buildings and today, it thrives as a small private stable overseen by the “Boarders and Stewards of the Monastery”. This is one of the best “hidden gems” of Philadelphia and is literally around the corner! More about this later, and the important connection between my listing and the proximity of this tight-knit, community-supported stable!
Property Description
Mr. Wolstenholme’s estate (Froheim – House of Joy) survives intact and is available for purchase for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Situated on 2.3 acres of elevated grounds, Froheim was sited on the property with a Southern axis to take full advantage of the distant views over Fairmount Park and to ensure that cross-breezes and sunlight would fill the house at any hour. While the house is substantial in size, the individual rooms are appropriately scaled for intimate gatherings or larger parties.

An arched & hand carved entry door leads into a small entry vestibule with stone floors & the most beautiful leaded glass, round window. From there, one enters into a gracious Foyer with a two story stairway (with the coat closet tucked underneath) and 1 of the 7 wood burning fireplaces. A set of French doors (one of many) provide access to the side patio & pathways that lead around to the rear yard. The western wing of the first floor has a spacious living room with windows on both sides, 2 sets of French doors & the 2nd fireplace. Beyond the living room is a private library with the 3rd fireplace and a lovely bay window facing South. At the end of this wing is a heated sunroom with stone floors, arched windows and another door leading to the front yard.

The spacious dining room is off the entry foyer & can easily accommodate large dinner parties. This room has the 4th fireplace, a very beautiful rope-detailed crown molding & direct access to the family room addition that was added in the 1980’s, another sunroom & the butler’s pantry. The family room addition has 4 sets of French doors & the 5th fireplace. The kitchen was opened to this room when it was constructed. There is an abundance of cabinets, a full breakfast bar and a wall of floor to ceiling cabinets for additional storage. There is access to the rear staircase & basement directly from the kitchen. The laundry & mudroom are directly behind the kitchen that provides access to the courtyard & garages.

Through the butler’s pantry, you’ll find a delightful, period “stand-up” wet bar and the powder room.

Upstairs on the 2nd floor, the master suite occupies the western wing. It includes the 6th fireplace, a huge walk-in dressing room, multiple closets and the en-suite bathroom that includes a tub, shower & the most unique in-floor weight scale!

There is a hall bathroom just outside the master suite to serve 2 more of the 2nd floor bedrooms. Over the dining room is the 4th bedroom that has the 7th fireplace & access to the air conditioned sleeping porch. A 3rd hall bathroom is just off this bedroom.

Tucked down the rear hallway (where the rear staircase comes upstairs from the kitchen) is the 4th full bathroom, several large linen closets and the 5th bedroom. From here, one accesses the in-law apartment through a connecting room (currently used as an office) into the huge living space of the in-law apartment (over the garage) with an efficiency kitchen and a 2nd powder room. A massive bank of arched windows overlooks the front yard & there is a staircase down that provides direct access to the driveway & motor courtyard.

On the third floor, there is the 5th full bathroom, 2 more bedrooms & a sitting room. In addition, there are two large storage attics (one is fully cedar lined).

Now, let’s venture back outside for a moment to find the surprise structure tucked at the rear of the property.

The current Owner was a horse breeder & they constructed a large 36’ x 36’ horse barn, run-in shed & fenced paddock on the rear acreage in 1995. The Post & Beam barn is equipped with running water, full power, its own separate alarm system and a DSL camera system to keep an eye on two of the stalls during the birthing season of various horses. The barn includes a tack room, a center aisle, four 12’ x 12’ stalls and a wash stall.

The wonderful thing about Fairmount Park is that it is a horse-friendly park system with an abundance of wooded trails. From my listing, you can ride your horse (or of course, for pedestrians only, walk yourselves!) down to the end of Scotforth Road & there is an access trail right there. Go down that trail to the larger network of trails, to the right one will find miles of wooded trails all the way past Chestnut Hill or to the right, one can ride down to the Monastery Stables mentioned previously.

It is a magical place, truly off the beaten path that very few people in the area even knows exist!

A few more salient points about the property, and I am finished!!!

The house has a Cedar roof, and that has completely been replaced within the last 10 years.

There are a total of 7 zones for heating (5 are serviced by the gas-fired H/W boiler, and 2 are serviced by heat pumps) that provide for the opportunity to easily control your indoor comfort and reduce your heating costs for those times that certain rooms are not in regular use.

There are a total of 5 air conditioning zones as well.

The property is serviced by public water & sewer.
Additional Notes
It is a classic & gracious property in a magical setting!

Come discover Froheim, and may you be the next Steward to create decades of memories to come!
Last Updated: August 26, 2017
All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed and should be independently verified.


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