On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.
A Bella Vista mansion straight out of the Champagne region in France has hit the market for $4.25 million.
Dana Spain is the seller of the 10,000-square-foot Mediterranean villa located at 615-17 Fitzwater Street, which she and her now ex-husband built from scratch beginning in 2004.
“We traveled a lot to France and we fell in love with design style that featured cast stone,” Spain said.
Spain, the founder of the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), owner of DLG Communications and Mcspain Properties, and possible mayoral candidate, says it took three years and multiple trips to France to design and build the property.
She and her former husband, photographer Michael Spain-Smith, had been living together just a few blocks away prior to constructing the home, but Spain says they were ready for an upgrade. After looking at more than 40 homes around the city, they couldn’t find anything that matched exactly what they were looking for.
So they bought two row homes and a vacant lot at 6th and Fitzwater Streets, knocked everything down, and constructed the luxurious Mediterranean property, which was completed in 2007.
“I wanted to build my dream home for entertaining, charity events and a personal space built to my design instead of retrofitting someone else’s design,” Spain said.
The home is filled with unique features; ones that aren’t typical of Philadelphia living. An in-ground heated jacuzzi, waterfall and lighted fountains, Belgium black marble sculptures, and handmade wrought iron railings over the floating staircase are just some of the rare details inside the home.
Plus, the home has more than 20 chandeliers, many of which are from Paris. The majority of the furniture is original Art Deco from the 1930s and 1940s, and was also shipped over from various parts of France.
Spain says each room in the home was carefully designed around a focal feature.
“Some [were designed] around the floors, some around the color of the wall, and some around a particular stone choice,” she said. “We designed each room around some type of texture or textile that we wanted to use.”
For example, the living room is designed around the honey onyx fireplace surround, and the media room is designed around the natural tigerwood floors.
The home also comes with a gym, a wine room that holds 370 bottles, a four-car garage, and an elevator.
The outdoor façade is made up of 1,700 individual pieces of cast stone blocks, each one made individually for the home. Spain says this was the most extensive process of building the home, which took the full three years of construction.
Whether she was holding a fundraiser for PAWS or just spending time with her close friends and family, Spain says she has enjoyed the kitchen most during her time living there.
“No matter how large or small a home, everyone wants to be in the kitchen during a meal preparation or party,” she said. “I designed the kitchen for both private dining and catering so that up to 40 people can hang around the island while the chef prepares the meal.”
After spending six years in the mansion – which has three bedrooms, three full and two half bathrooms – Spain has decided to downgrade, as she and her husband are no longer married.