Exploring Architecture, Arts, & Adventure in Chestnut Hill

Image Courtesy of Visit Philly by J. Fusco

Image Courtesy of Visit Philly by J. Fusco

One of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill is located in the northwest section of Philadelphia, just a half hour away from Center City. Originally part of the German Township laid out by Francis Daniel Pastorius, Chestnut Hill served as a vacation spot during the 18th century, due to its higher elevation and cool temperatures. The introduction of railroads pushed more people to settle into the neighborhood in the 19th century, and to this day, Chestnut Hill has kept its position as one of the brightest and historic sections of Philadelphia.

Image of Druim Moir Historic District by G.W. & W.D. Hewitt Courtesy of Wiki Media Commons

Image of Druim Moir Historic District by G.W. & W.D. Hewitt Courtesy of Wiki Media Commons

Chestnut Hill is known for its expansive and eclectic architectural designs. Several notable architects, many Philadelphian, are represented in the area. Just to name a few, you’ll find impressive homes by Wilson Eyre, G.W & W.D Hewitt, Frank Furness, Louis I Khan, & Robert Venturi. Today, designated as a National Historic District, the community includes an extraordinary mix of impressive stone mansions, 19th century farmhouses, and more modest rowhomes. You’ll find many different styles of homes. From Queen-Anne, Shingle, Post Modern to Italiante Victorian, Chestnut Hill has it all. It really is an architects dream.

The Kneedler House

The Kneedler House

Presenting the Kneedler House, one of the finest properties in Chestnut Hill offering the most discerning a glorious melding of old and new, formal and casual, practical and luxurious. Built in 1855 by architects Sidney and Neff, this grand stone Italianate was designed as a summer home, and later a permanent home, for Jesse Kneedler, a wealthy wholesale dry goods merchant. Set back off of Germantown Avenue under a canopy of mature trees, the gracious circular drive sets the tone. Once inside, find large, light-filled rooms with soaring 11' ceilings, rich crown moldings, three original antique marble fireplaces, a sweeping main staircase, painstakingly restored woodwork, stunning inlayed hardwood flooring and extensive custom casework. The grand formal living and dining rooms are flanked with fireplaces and decorated in elegant grass cloth wallpaper and are the perfect space for large family gatherings and entertaining. The custom chef's kitchen is outfitted with a six burner Viking range, ceiling-height cabinets with sleek glass doors, cool marble countertops, a large island, French doors and a marble fireplace. The kitchen flows easily into the adjoining breakfast room with terrace views, making this the perfect central hub for today's modern family. On the second floor find a gracious Master Suite with a custom walk-in closet and a beautifully renovated marble Master bath with free-standing tub and spa-like shower. Then find a second bedroom with connected bathroom, a well-designed and convenient laundry room and a guest room with en-suite bath and back staircase. The third floor offers four more sunny bedrooms with plenty of closet and storage space and a renovated bathroom. A brand new two car garage is spacious and clean and connects to a mud room for convenient living. The grounds feature two levels of terraces, lovely perennial gardens and a pergola-covered seating area, perfect for outdoor entertaining and dining al fresco. The home also boasts an updated electric service, new roof and four-zoned heating and central air. Just steps from the shops, galleries, farmer's market and restaurants of cobble-stoned Germantown Avenue, this coveted "Top-of-the-Hill" address is second to none.

Welcome to the historic James Monahan House! Nestled in lovely and picturesque Chestnut Hill, this handsome turn-of-the-century twin offers classic simplicity, design-sensitive renovations and classic vintage restorations. Just steps from the shops, galleries, farmer's market and restaurants of cobblestoned Germantown Avenue, Valley Green and the trails of Fairmount Park, this location is second to none. The quintessential Chestnut Hill charm of this home begins at the curb with a delightfully painted front door, beautiful perennial gardens and a sunny front porch. The cozy living room features original wide plank hardwood floors, large windows allowing for tons of natural light and original molding and trim work. The dining room is welcoming and perfect for hosting an intimate dinner party. The sunny farmhouse kitchen and the laundry/mud room boast meticulously hand-laid mosaic tile designed by a master artisan. Two sunny and sizable bedrooms and a vintage-lover's dream bathroom featuring a rounded cast iron tub and jade and emerald art deco tile, round out the second floor. Two dormered bedrooms complete the third. Perhaps the crowning jewel is the lush side yard with tiled seating areas, a fire pit, pergola with flowering wisteria and a quaint garden shed. Spend warm summer evenings entertaining, gardening and dining al fresco. A two-car pebbled driveway makes parking a non-issue and the Wyndmoor train station mere yards away makes commuting to Center City a dream. Perfect location, charm and convenience - nothing left to do but pack your bags!

7632 Ardleigh St

7632 Ardleigh St

Exploring the neighborhood, you’ll find charming shops and a multitude of cultural resources abound. Starting with the arts, you will want to check out the Stagecrafters Theater, the Woodmere Art Gallery, and the Philadelphia Print Shop. Some all purpose neighborhood favorites include the Weaver's Way Co-op, Roots, Green Street Consignment Store, Kilian's Hardware and the Robertson's Flower Shop. Ready to head outside? There are many amazing parks and outdoor activities near-by. Just a few of our favorite places are the Philadelphia Cricket Club, Pastorius Park, the Morris Arboretum, Valley Green Park and the trails of Fairmount Park.

Image of The Morris Arboretum Courtesy of Expedia.com

Image of The Morris Arboretum Courtesy of Expedia.com

Once you’re ready for a bite to eat you should head down to Germantown Ave. From small coffee shops to fine dining, this is where you’ll find a plethora of amazing places. Just to name a few, there’s the Iron Hill Brewery, one of the oldest breweries in the area. You’ll always find a delicious house brewed beer on tap. Need a morning pick-me-up? Stop by the Chestnut Hill coffee shop, on 8620 Germantown Ave. If you want to experience some delicious freshly roasted coffee in a cozy, stylish coffee shop then you're in the right place. If you're interested in trying out some of the most interested gourmet food in the area, head over to the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop. They offer everything from fresh caviar to coffee, and of course some of the best domestic cheese in the city. Want something a bit more eclectic? El Poquito is the place for you. When you enter you are greeted by a motorcycle acting as art hanging on the wall! Serving delicious Mexican cuisine and fresh squeezed margaritas, this is definitely the place for a fun night out with friends. They are also very kid friendly! If you’re looking for a nice date night out, may we suggest Mica. With hand crafted cocktails, a decadent wine list, and delicious New American cuisine, you can’t go wrong. It’s also set in a lovely old townhouse, so you’ll fit right in with the stunning architecture of the neighborhood.

Image of El Poquito Courtesy of ChestnutHillLocal.com

Image of El Poquito Courtesy of ChestnutHillLocal.com

The Night Kitchen on 7725 Germantown Ave is a renowned bakery in Chestnut Hill. For over 30 years, chefs Amy Beth Edelman and John Millard have focused on creating a culture of sustainability and environmental awareness through partnering with local businesses and nonprofits in the area. The Night Kitchen was also featured on Buzzfeed for creating an amazing Harry Potter wedding cake!

From its historical roots to its absolutely vibrant culture, Chestnut Hill is one of the most established neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Come check it out! We can’t wait to show you around.