On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.
When Michael and Mary Hagy were house hunting in the early 1990s, something about a Queen Village home brought them back to their early days serving in the U.S. military.
The couple says the iron railings and unique front door shaped as a dragon were what interested them in buying the 3,900-square-foot home on the 300 block of Fitzwater Street in 1994.
“The iron railings [on the stairs] sang to me because ships have similar railings on their ladders,” said Michael, who served in the Navy and is now a professor and executive coach. He added that the dragon on the front door – where the home gets its name “The Dragon” – was also reminiscent of being out on the ocean.
Michael said he and Mary, who served in the Army and is now an entrepreneur and CEO of OurVetSuccess.com, also appreciated the overall open layout of the home and the nice change of living.
“Having an open space after years of cramped quarters on ships and cockpits just resonated with us,” Michael said. “We really wanted to make this ours in a way in a way that we never had the opportunity to do.”
The couple was moving from a smaller home in Queen Village, and were upgrading with their young daughter. The home, built in the mid-nineteenth century, got a makeover in the 1980s from renowned architect Cecil Baker.
Baker, whose work is can be found throughout Philadelphia and is designing the “glass needle” condo tower that will go up at Fifth and Walnut Streets, created the open layout that the Hagys were drawn to. Some features Baker added to the property are 13 skylights in the hallway leading to the kitchen, a sunken living room with a wood-burning fireplace, and windows inside the home that look into the atrium.
But the Hagys said the home had been vacant for a few years when they got there, and it needed some spicing up.
In their 20 years living there, the couple said they followed Baker’s vision in their own renovations, which they completed in three phases.
“We tried to keep Cecil’s style and attention to openness and airiness in building,” Michael said.
As soon as they moved in, the Hagys renovated the roof and added in pyramid glass at the top of the atrium. A few years later, they redid the guest bedrooms and bathrooms. And more recently, in their last phase of renovations, they renovated the kitchen area and master bedroom suite.
For the kitchen, the Hagys tore down the back of the building and extended it to make a gourmet kitchen and entertainment room. The kitchen features granite counters, tile flooring, stainless steel appliances, and custom-made cherry cabinetry.
The master suite, located on the top floor, includes high ceilings, a French door and French balcony, a fireplace, and a built-in vanity and large walk-in closet. The master bath features a double-corner Jacuzzi and a large walk-in shower with multiple showerheads.
The Hagys also took pride in creating a private garden in the backyard, which was previously just an open concrete space.
The four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home also includes a 350-bottle wine cellar, gym and library.
After 20 years, the Hagys have decided to put the home on the market now with their daughter out of the house and move elsewhere in Center City. They’re selling it for $1.375 million.
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The home is listed with Noah Ostroff of Keller Williams and phillyliving.com.