When Marcia and David Harwitz were looking to move out of New York City in 2004, they weren’t ready for suburban living just yet. Newlyweds at the time, they were about to start a family and wanted to enjoy another city before comitting to the suburbs.
The Harwitzes knew Philadelphia well – David had grown up there and Marcia had lived in the suburbs – so they decided it was the perfect place to pursue job opportunities and look for a place to call home.
“We found – like many individuals and couples – this area to be significantly more affordable, while still rich with many of the cultural, culinary and recreational offerings which we enjoyed,” Marcia Harwitz said.
While house hunting, the Harwitzes found one home located at 333 Lawrence Court that really stood out because of its style and location. It’s a historic Society Hill free-standing home comprised of three trinities side by side. It also has a private garden, which they found to be very unique.
With its convenient location – right off 4th Street between Pine and Spruce streets – and its private gated area, the Hartwitzes felt like they could have both rural and urban living at the same time.
“This was the ultimate compromise,” Marcia Harwitz said. “It’s like having the suburbs in the city.”
The couple enjoyed living in the 2,600-plus square-foot home for almost a decade, but have decided that it’s time to move to the suburbs. They now have young children who go to school in Wynnewood, which is close to the area where they’re looking to live.
They have put the three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home on the market for $925,000.
Built in the 1700s, the home has many of its original features including seven fireplaces, hardwood floors, and crown moldings. Although the home had been upgraded with modern amenities by the time the Harwitzes moved in, they completed several renovations themselves. They doubled the size of the kitchen by adding more counter space and a larger pantry closet, and renovated the bathrooms.
They also took great pride in maintaining the garden, which won an award in 2009 from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
“The courtyard is an immeasurable gift, and one which keeps on giving,” Marcia Harwitz said. “While it clearly had great potential upon our arrival, it has evolved into a beautiful garden, inhabited by trees, flowers and homegrown herbs.”
Harwitz said she and her family used the space for outdoor grilling and entertaining, as well as a space for their kids to play.
The closet-knit group of neighbors, who have frequent get-togethers in the courtyard, as well as the convenient location, is what Harwitz says she really enjoyed about city living in Society Hill and what she will miss most.
“I’m one block from everything – one block from the gym, one block from the supermarket, one block from the coffee shop and park,” Harwitz said. “It’s just the best location – it’s a quaint and beautiful place to raise a family.”