On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.
For Dennis Cook, living at the historic Sylvan Edge in Elkins Park was a childhood dream.
Cook, a marketing executive for a major entertainment company in New York City, grew up three blocks from the Georgian Revival home on Ashbourne Road and recalls being intrigued by the estate at just 10 years old.
"It was so unique to what I had seen in Philadelphia," he said. "When I was a kid, it started to get run down - the landscaping wasn't done, the former owner never really took care of it - but it always had that dramatic feeling to it that just pulled me in. I always wanted to own that house."
The 7,000-square-foot-plus home, with nine bedrooms and six-and-a-half baths, is just a mile away from Lynnewood Hall, a grand Horace Trumbauer estate that hit the market for $20 million earlier this month. But Sylvan Edge has its own unique history as well: it was the built by Joseph J. Greenberg in 1928 as his personal residence, and has been featured in Architectural Digest. Greenberg is known for his work around Philadelphia, including building 1616 Walnut, which was recently converted into the ICON luxury apartment building.
Cook, who lived in the area up until he graduated college, always came back to Montgomery County to see family. When he heard that this estate was for sale three years ago, he quickly jumped on the opportunity to buy it. Since then, he has devoted his time to restoring the estate, which he said needed considerable work.
"This was a passion project for me," Cook said. "I fell in love with the home, had a vision, and wanted to bring it back to life. I wanted to bring it back to the original vision of Joseph Greenberg."
Cook repainted the interior and exterior, restored the hardwood floors, fixed up the pool and Koi pond, and put in sconces and chandeliers - some of which are from the long-running Philadelphia restaurant, Le Bec-Fin.
"When I purchased the property there was a tile missing here and there, a hole over the garage," Cook said. "Every detail has been renovated and redone."
Unique architectural details can be found throughout the gated property: a cobblestone Belgian block driveway and walled courtyard, marble floors and a wrap-around staircase in the entry way, and French doors and hand-carved fireplaces throughout the home.
There's also floor-to-ceiling wood paneling in the library on the first floor with built-in bookcases and a marble fireplace.
The master bedroom suite also has wood paneling, as well as floor-to-ceiling mirrored closets, hand-painted oil paintings, and his-and-her dressing rooms and marble bathrooms.
The home sits on an acre, has an in-ground pool, a three-car garage, several patios, and formal gardens.
While Cook has been able to realize one of his childhood dreams and revive this historic estate, he is ready for another owner to continue in his place. He has put the home on the market for $1.6 million.
"I'm selling it now because more of my time is needed in New York," Cook said. "It's sad but it's been an amazing project."
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