On The Market: River views, custom built-ins on S. American Street for $850K

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Exterior shot of 319 S. American Street in Old City. (Joe Staehly / Home Jab)

On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.

When Christine and Michael Mackintosh welcomed their first daughter, Madeleine “Bitsy” to their family in March 2011, neighbors on South American Street decorated the tiny lane with pink balloons at every door.

“I can’t imagine a better place in the city to live,” said Christine, who is senior counsel at Wilmington firm Grant and Eisenhofer. She and husband Michael, a history lecturer at Ursinus College, have lived in a three-bedroom, two-bath townhouse on the street since 2007.

Before buying the townhouse, the couple owned a condo in Old City. Christine had very particular tastes about where they would move next. “I said I would only live between 2nd and 4th and Spruce and Pine,” she said. Her husband was dubious, until a walk one day led them to a small cobblestone street abutted by Spruce Street, Delancey Street, S. Philip Street and S. 3rd Street.

They were immediately taken with the home and its custom built-ins and millwork. Built in 1845, the property features original pine flooring and two fireplaces, including one with King of Prussia marble.

“We loved it, and we bought it,” Christine said.

There was hardly any work left to be done. The couple added bookshelves near a fireplace and library shelving. “So many unique features were already there,” she said.

They added Bitsy, and last summer a second daughter, Paige. Mackintosh said living near her mother, who provides daycare for the girls at her home in southern New Jersey, made moving across the river a necessity.

Their S. American Street home is currently listed through realtor Liz Lutz at $850,000. The feature Christine says she loves most about the home is the main living area off the first floor with a built-in window seat and lots of natural light. 

In addition to two bedrooms on the second floor, the master suite stretches through the entire third floor. The second fireplace is the focal point of a sitting area adjacent to the bedroom. Abundant closets and shelving make other furniture unnecessary, Christine said. The master also features a private bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. “People are like, do you use the Jacuzzi?” Christine said. “Every night.”

Down the stairs and overlooking the garden out back is a room the couple calls a bonus office. The garden is one of three separate outdoor spaces. A small deck juts off the second floor, leaving the garden pristine and grill-free. Upstairs is a roof deck with unobstructed views of the city and river. Zoning now prohibits roof decks on S. American Street, but the Mackintosh house was grandfathered in, making theirs a very private retreat.

“It feels like an oasis within the city,” Christine said.

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