Greg and Gabrielle Miller had not planned to leave Philadelphia as soon as their first child was born.
“We thought we’d stay in the city for a year or two after our son, Hudson, was born,” she said. “After one day with all three of us in our condo, we changed our minds.”
They saw a 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom home in Wallingford called Lindenshade. It featured a two-story library designed by Frank Furness for his brother. They kept looking at other properties, but Miller said they could not get Lindenshade out of their minds.
“We saw this home, then looked elsewhere,” she said. “But we always measured everything to Lindenshade, and nothing could compare.”
They bought the home in 2007 and set to work modernizing it.
“It took some creativity to see past the cement exterior, dated interior and wall air conditioners,” she said.
They added central air and dual-zoned climate control, refinished the library ceilings and moldings, and added stucco to the exterior.
“We also landscaped to try to keep the yard as Horace Howard Furness discusses in his letters,” Miller said.
Horace Howard Furness (1839-1912) was a Shakespeare scholar and collector. The Furness Memorial Library at the University of Pennsylvania, named for him, is devoted to the study of Shakespeare and other Tudor and Stuart dramatists.
Gabrielle Miller said Lindenshade’s library remains her favorite area inside the house.
“The space is enormous and welcoming, with many of Horace’s books and letters still in the stacks,” she said. “It’s like a book-filled oasis.”
The gardens are another property highlight, Miller said. The grounds include a pond with waterfalls and separate gardens. And the family has added some features.
“We put in a zip line, slack line, swing set, trampoline, and there are fish in the pond with three waterfalls,” she said.
Miller said a professional opportunity means she and Greg have decided to list the home for sale.
“I got a job offer I could not refuse,” she said. “It’s bittersweet to leave this incredible home.”
The home is listed with the Vince May Team at Coldwell Banker Preferred for $599,900.