On the Market: Restored brownstone in Rittenhouse Square for $4,290,000
On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.
When Oscar Soldano bought the apartment complex at 2012 Spruce Street in 2001, he had a vision in mind.
He was going to convert the 5-story brownstone, comprised of nine apartments and three boarding rooms, into a single-family home. He and his partner, Louis Bird, were moving from a Pine Street rowhome a few blocks away and wanted more space at the time.
Soldano envisioned the transformation of the brownstone from the first time he saw it. Neither he nor Bird could pass up the property because they saw many opportunities to make it their own.
“We were mesmerized with the architectural details of this house,” Soldano said. “The exquisite wood work and the large rooms with all these fireplaces convinced us that this would be a worthwhile project.”
Within 10 years, Soldano and Bird renovated the Second Empire-style brownstone from the 1860s, and the home they once dreamed of became a reality.
“We were very pleased with the end result,” Soldano said.
Now after more than a decade spent living there, Soldano says it’s time to downgrade, which has led the couple to put the home on the market for $4,290,000.
The main renovations completed by Soldano and Bird to the 8,000 square-foot property were the four new bedrooms and five baths.
“Most of the apartments were studios with tiny bathrooms and kitchens occupying the secondary stairwell,” Soldano said. “These were removed, and we decided to install two oversize skylights to create a 47-foot atrium.”
The couple also repainted the home's nine fireplaces by stripping off the previous layers of paint and refinishing to their original mahogany color.
Soldano and Bird kept many of the original details of the home, which they say was their main priority. These features include the plaster crown moldings, the wooden mahogany mantels, the leaded glass windows, the 8-foot doors, and the built-in bookcases in the formal library.
Soldano considers the dining room his favorite room – which has two fireplaces, a beamed ceiling, and built in corner cabinets – as he feels it takes him back right to historic times.
“You feel like it’s the 1800s from all the details in the carved wood and mantels,” he said.
The mantels, he added, are each hand-carved and reflect the style of the home.
Other amenities in the home include a covered outdoor space with a hot tub and seating area, three balconies, and two-car gated parking.
Soldano says the street where the home is located, just a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square, has the “look and feel of a French street,” as many of the other properties are Second Empire brownstones as well.