On the Market: Restored Horace Trumbauer mansion in Haverford for $2.49M

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The restored Horace Trumbauer mansion in Haverford is on the market for $2.49 million.

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

When Mark Rupp and Nancy Levitt-Rupp were searching for their first home together in 2001, they were also looking for a location for their wedding.

Turns out, they were able to decide on one place for both life events. 

The couple, who were both about to enter their second marriages, were looking to upgrade on the Main Line with their soon-to-be combined families.

During their house hunt, they fell in love with a historic mansion that was designed by prominent architect Horace Trumbauer in 1925.

“We both love historic homes and architecture, and when we saw this house we really liked what we saw,” said Mark Rupp, president and COO of SpectiCast, a cinema marketing and distribution company. 

Trumbauer built the home, known as Craig Hall, for Katherine Craig Wright Mucklé and her husband, John Seiser Mucklé . Katherine was the granddaughter of Hugh Craig, a Philadelphia grain merchant, and her husband was the son of Colonel Mark Richards Mucklé, a long-time business manager of the city’s Public Ledger newspaper. 

Rupp describes the house as in “shambles” when he and his wife saw it. He had been told that Katherine Mucklé tore apart the second-story over a tax dispute, and the home was never fully brought back to life. But Rupp, the home’s fourth owner, saw potential in the 10,000-square-foot-plus red brick home and wanted to revive it.

“It was a mess,” he said. “We had to spend a month just taking down what was there.”

Before any major renovations, a friend suggested to them that they get married at the home. They decided to break in the home with a special ceremony in the center hall, and they invited 80 guests to celebrate.

Rupp then started the revival process by going to the Free Library of Philadelphia, another design by Trumbauer, to seek any information about what the home originally looked like. He was able to find three photos from when the home was built. He also discovered original blue prints in the home. 

“We really wanted to keep the house architecturally sound and restore as much as we could,” Rupp said.

Hiring the architect was a bit of a backwards process: Michael Kathrens, architectural historian and author of American Splendor: The Residential Architecture of Horace Trumbauer, had great interest in this home and contacted the Rupps. Kathrens proposed a design to the Rupps, and they decided to hire him.

They recovered 15 original light fixtures that were in the basement closet, and restored each one. They also took wood samples to a mill shop to match the existing woodwork. 

“We matched every thing on the first and second floor,” Rupp said. “We restored the parquet and quarter sawn white oak flooring.”

The second story – the floor that needed the most work – was just a large open space. The Rupps put in six bedrooms, although there were eight originally.  They made the master suite several rooms.

On the lower level, they put in a billiards room where the home formerly had one.

“We kept the original bar with copper counters, “Rupp said. “[On that level] We took what was a bathroom for the servants and turned it into a wine cellar. Then we took the laundry room and converted it into a home theater.”

They also put in a brand new kitchen, which was the original pantry.

Other unique details inside include five fireplaces, a broad stone staircase with ironworks by Samuel Yellin, and a neoclassical-style mantelpiece in the dining room.

The Rupps added in a pool and pool house in 2007. The home also boasts a 2-story garage and service building. 

After 13 years of living and restoring this historic gem, the Rupps have put the home on the market for $2.49 million. With four children, and three out of the house, they are looking to downsize to another home in the area.

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