Sale of Note: Historic Upsala in Mount Airy

Elfant Wissahickon Realtors and The Philadelphia Moves Team would like to thank the National Trust for Historic Preservation for placing their trust in them for the sale of Upsala, the historic mansion in Mt. Airy that served as the staging ground for Continental Army forces during the Battle of Germantown.

The mansion began as a private residence and it will become one again with its purchase from a private seller for well over its $499,000 asking price. Elfant Wissahickon Realtors listed the historic 7-bedroom, 1.5-bath home in September of 2016, and two months later, the house was under contract

“Upsala is a special property and this is a victory for its long-term stewardship,” said Katherine Malone-France, the National Trust’s vice president for historic sites. “We are delighted that the new owners are returning the property to its original use and are committed to its preservation.”

As part of the public access requirement of the preservation easement, the new owners will allow the front of Upsala to be used for the Battle of Germantown reenactments, annually held in October. Mt. Airy Day will be held on the grounds of Cliveden and the 6400 block of Germantown Avenue.”

For more information about Upsala, you can go HERE

Sources: PhillymagCurbed

 

 

 

History
William Allen, a prominent Philadelphia merchant and Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania, created his summer estate and mansion on Germantown Avenue at Allens Lane in 1750, and the area eventually took the building’s name, Mount Airy, as its own. Before this, the area which makes up the modern neighborhood of Mount Airy was part of two sections of the original Germantown Township (which covered all of Germantown, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill), Cresheim and Beggarstown.

Much of modern Mount Airy was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spreading out from Germantown Avenue and two railroad lines. Large three-story, gray-stone Victorian, colonial revival, and Norman and Cotswold-style houses and mansions, with stained glass windows and slate roofs, are situated on many of the area’s tree-lined streets. They dominated districts like West Mount Airy’s Pelham section, East Mount Airy’s Gowen Avenue, Sedgwick Farms, and Stenton areas.

If you drive through Mt. Airy, what you see might perplex you, catch you off guard, strike you as unusual. More than one local bumper sticker claims “Unity In Diversity”, and indeed, difference is the heartbeat of the place. In Mt. Airy, like almost nowhere else in the country, you can’t generalize about the inhabitants’ ethnicities, incomes, religions, sexual orientations, preferences in music, or even likelihood of shoveling when it snows.

This poster child of a diverse neighborhood is a refuge for the unorthodox and the ostracized, people who’ve broken from family, community of origin, or previous self. It is also a place for the aesthetically betwixt and between, those who want both a yard and an easy commute to the center of town. Welcome to a neighborhood where people of just about every race, religion, class, belief system, and sexual orientation come together and play very nicely. (From Wikipedia / O Magazine)

Boundaries: Mount Airy is bounded on the northwest by the Cresheim Valley, which is part of Fairmount Park. On the west side is the Wissahickon Gorge, which is also part of Fairmount Park. Germantown borders the southeast of Mount Airy, and Stenton Avenue marks the northeast border.

Zip Code: 19119

What To See / Do

Dining, Shopping and Events

Public Schools

  • Charles W. Henry School
  • Henry H. Houston School
  • Anna L. Lingelbach School (K-8)
  • Germantown High School

Charter Schools

  • West Oak Lane Charter School
  • Wissahickon Charter School (K-8)

Private Schools

  • Green Tree School (ages 6-21)
  • Blair Christian Academy (PreK-12)
  • Revival Hill Christian School (9-12)
  • Islamic Day School of Philadelphia (PreK-5)
  • Waldorf School of Philadelphia (PreK-8)
  • Project Learn School (K-8)
  • Classroom on Carpenter Lane (K-2)
  • Holy Cross School (K-8)

Public Transportation
Two SEPTA Regional Rail lines connect the neighborhood to Center City. The Chestnut Hill West Line runs through West Mount Airy with stops at Allen Lane, Carpenter and Upsal stations, and the Chestnut Hill East Line through East Mount Airy with stops at Mount Airy, Sedgwick and Stenton stations-Washington Lane station is in Germantown across the street from Mount Airy.

The neighborhood is also served by SEPTA bus routes 18, 23 (formerly a trolley line), 53 (formerly a trolley line), H, and L.

FIND MOUNT AIRY HOMES FOR SALE

Philadelphia has always been a world class city. For many years it has thrived in the areas of arts and culture, historical significance and architecture. However, until recently, Philly has never been known as a culinary hotbed.  Sure, there were a few heavy hitters, but nothing like it’s current offerings. These days, it seems Philadelphia gives cities like Chicago, New York and San Francisco a run for their money in edible excitement. We are a city of neighborhoods filled with BYOB’s, Iron Chefs and Ethnic Delicacies.

Mt. Airy is a lovely and diverse neighborhood northwest of downtown Philadelphia. In addition to some beautiful and large old houses and lush, tree-lined streets, Mt. Airy has some great boutiques, excellent taverns and a wide variety of food options. Below are some you should check out!

ETHNIC:

Bacio Italian Restaurante: (Italian) “For real home made Italian dinners, lots of seafood, steaks and vegan foods. Gluten free per request. My grandmother made food from love, she never left the kitchen; come and see us cook for you in our open kitchen and taste the love.”

Mi Puebla: (Mexican) “Authentic Mexican Cuisine in the heart of Mt. Airy.”

Avenida: (Latin American) “We invite you to indulge your taste buds in the bold Latin American flavors and tantalizing cocktails that we serve at Philadelphia’s award-winning restaurant, Avenida. Set in a historic Mount Airy home built in the 1700s, patrons will sit by the stone fireplace or on the romantic outdoor porch sipping margaritas and sampling Chef Edgar’s signature guacamole with homemade tortilla chips and salsa. Stop by for dinner tonight to sample the award-winning delicacies that he and wife and partner Chef Kim Katz Alvarez have prepared.

Tiffin: (Indian) “Fresh, healthy and nutritious Indian and Asian food delivery to the location of your choice. The service has been modeled after the famous meal delivery service of Mumbai, India. Eat in BYOB as well”

Jyoti Bistro: (Indian) “Over thirty years ago, working in her home kitchen, Jyoti and her husband Vijai Gupta, dreamed of bringing the taste of fresh Indian cooking to homes across America. Using all natural ingredients, they soon started Jyoti Natural Foods which quickly became one of the first companies to make Indian cuisine for grocers nationwide and bring their kitchen flavors to your cupboard. Weaver’s Way Co-Op became one of the first grocers in Greater Philadelphia to carry their products. Having developed a robust variety of ready-to-eat for retail sale at stores including Whole Foods, as well as vegetarian entrees for several major airlines, Jyoti was ready to bring her recipes to the restaurant world. Today, that taste comes to Mt. Airy with Jyoti Indian Bistro. Jyoti Indian Bistro offers fresh and healthy Indian foods—with many gluten-free and vegan choices—every day with a rotating set of weekly specials. Eat-in or take-out or take home enough in our 32 oz. containers for a house party!”

PIZZA / CHEESESTEAKS:

Earth Bread + Brewery: (Tavern) “Flatbread pizza baked in a wood burning oven. Four house drafts along with seven ‘guest’ taps. Great selection of wines by the glass, including wine on draft.”

Mt. Airy Deli: (Deli / Sandwiches) “Mt. Airy Deli has been a staple in the Mt. Airy community for nearly 15 years. At the early age of 14 the founder Abdul–Raheem Thomas knew that he wanted to create a sandwich that was so good people would say that’s the best sandwich I ever had. Abdul put his dream to the side while working for various other companies in the food service industry. One day Abdul decided to pursue the dream he had 20 years earlier to open a hoagie and steak deli and that’s exactly what he did. With the blessing of his family Abdul took a leap of faith and opened Mt. Airy Deli at 7AM on August 8th, 1995 right in the heart of Mt. Airy (on the corner of 7200 Devon Street). Since that morning Mt. Airy Deli has been making the best hoagies and steaks in Mt. Airy. And if you don’t believe it you should give it a try.”

MISCELLANEOUS:

McMenamin’s Tavern: (Tavern)  “Ever so “loud” “when the Eagles are on TV”, this old-school Mt. Airy hang is a “true neighborhood pub” that’s flexible enough to work for “getting together with colleagues”, “a date” or “just relaxing in the early afternoon” over a pint and a “casual meal”; it’s “not the place to go to if you’re into decor”, but it is worth patronizing if you appreciate “polite” service and a “friendly” crowd.”- Zagat.

Chef Ken’s Café: (Southern / Soul Food) “Fantastic Soul Food.”

Wine Thief:  (American Eclectic) “Wine Thief’s seasonally inspired menus feature local products from neighboring farms and vendors including grass fed beef and fresh produce from Lancaster county and a selection of local wines and beers from as close to home as Fort Washington. The bar uses fresh juices and produce creating signature as well as classic cocktails that stand apart. We strive to provide an exceptionally comfortable, affordable, and delicious dining experience for all ages and every occasion. Style of service is casual while being professional. ”

Trolley Car Diner: (American Eclectic) “Welcome to the Trolley Car Diner. Slip into a booth. Get comfy. Turn around and check out our regulars. Guys by the name of Elvis, Frank and Jackie. And gals like Audrey, Grace & Ella. Yes, it’s always the 1950s in our magical little part of the world. But you don’t have to be an old-timer to enjoy our delicious milkshakes and succulent burgers. Just bring a sense of fun, and some of your favorite people. And leave the rest to us.”

Geechee Girl Rice Cafe’: (American Eclectic) “Geechee Girl Rice Café is inspired by traditional southern rice delicacies with world influences. Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Valley Green Inn: (American Eclectic) “Looking for a brunch or dinner spot to please your relatives from 7 to 70? This is it. The charming historic inn is not only a one-of-a-kind within city limits, but it is also one of Philly’s most painted buildings. The menu focuses on regional and seasonal American, farm-raised and free-range meats and fowl, and locally grown vegetables when possible.”

Umbria: (American Eclectic) “New American BYOB with seasonally inspired, local fare.”

Goat Hollow: (Tavern) “Mt. Airy has taken kindly to the resurrection of this long-dormant pub, now transformed into a friendly American brasserie. Chef Adam Glickman, previously at  Monk’s Cafe, is serving a variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers, mussels and mains to the Northwest Philly eaters who crowd the cozy dining room.”

Little Jimmie’s Bakery Cafe: (Diner / Bakery) “Little Jimmie’s Bakery Café in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia is serving up breakfast, lunch, and southwestern specialties along with all homemade bakery goods.”

High Point Cafe: (Diner / Cafe) “High Point Cafés are small neighborhood cafes, serving only the highest quality handmade patries and desserts created daily, along with made-to-order crepes and the best espresso in town.”

There are also dozens of coffee shops, sandwich shops and other food options too numerous to list, and many new restaurants pop up almost daily. Bon Appétit!

A historic Mt. Airy mansion is on the market for $1.3 million. (Hillary Petrozziello / Staff Photographer)

(Hillary Petrozziello / Staff Photographer)
Lauren Mennen, Philly.com

 

Thirty years ago, Carol Schwartz had a vision.

She and her husband, Elliot, were going to move into the Mt. Airy Mansion located at 7360 Huron Lane. But there was one problem: It wasn’t on the market yet.

A decade later in 1993, after Carol Schwartz kept an eye on the French Normandy-style home and became friendly with the owners, the house was finally for sale.

Elliot Schwartz was reluctant at first about purchasing the property when his wife approached him. His three kids were grown and were either graduated from college or about to graduate. He and his wife didn’t need all that space.

But it didn’t take a lot of convincing for Elliot Schwartz to purchase the 8,300 square foot home located in the French Village of the popular northwest Philadelphia neighborhood. He appreciated the beauty and the history of the home, and he wanted to make his wife happy.

“She would tell everyone ‘this is my dream house, this is the most special place I’ve ever seen,’” Elliot Schwartz said.

Elliot Schwartz soon fell in love with the home as well, and the couple, who owns the Carol Schwartz Gallery in Chestnut Hill, moved in.

The Schwartzs enjoyed the home together for the next two decades, until Carol Schwartz lost a battle to thyroid cancer and passed away in October 2012.

Now Elliot Schwartz, who had 20 years of wonderful memories in the home with his wife, is ready to scale down to a smaller property. He has put the home on the market for $1.3 million.

The fond memories isn’t the only thing Schwartz cherishes about the home. Schwartz, who refers to the home as a “treasure” said much of it is irreplaceable.

The home, with 6 bedrooms and 5 and a half bathrooms was built in 1931 by Mellor, Meigs, and Howe. The famous architects also constructed the PSFS Building in 1932, which was the country’s first International style skyscraper.

All around the home you’ll find original wood carvings, and even an iron fireplace in the living room designed by famous blacksmith Samuel Yellin.

“You can’t replace this,” Schwartz said. “You can’t replace Yellin, you can’t replace the craftsmanship, the way everything is done. No matter what you spend, you can’t replace it.”

The home, which is nestled in the woods on a calm street with just four other homes nearby, also has many other features including a library with original wood paneling and fireplace, a spacious family room, and an eat-in-kitchen. The outside features include a large courtyard, landscape garden, heated indoor pool, and a three car garage.

The home is close to both Fairmount Park and Germantown Avenue, where there are a ton of restaurants and shops.

Schwartz said his home for the past 20 years has been more than just a house to him, and feels he will pass the torch to whoever the next homeowners are.

“It’s a special story and a special house,” he said. “It’s going to go to someone special. Someone has to appreciate it and love it like she [Carol Schwartz] did.”

Check out a gallery of the property HERE

(From Philly.com)

 

 

 

 

History:  William Allen, a prominent Philadelphia merchant and Chief Justice of the Province of Pennsylvania, created his summer estate and mansion on Germantown Avenue at Allens Lane in 1750, and the area eventually took the building’s name, Mount Airy, as its own. Before this, the area which makes up the modern neighborhood of Mount Airy was part of two sections of the original Germantown Township (which covered all of Germantown, Mount Airy, and Chestnut Hill), Cresheim and Beggarstown.

Much of modern Mount Airy was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spreading out from Germantown Avenue and two railroad lines. Large three-story, gray-stone Victorian, colonial revival, and Norman and Cotswold-style houses and mansions, with stained glass windows and slate roofs, are situated on many of the area’s tree-lined streets. They dominated districts like West Mount Airy’s Pelham section, East Mount Airy’s Gowen Avenue, Sedgwick Farms, and Stenton areas.

If you drive through Mt. Airy, what you see might perplex you, catch you off guard, strike you as unusual. More than one local bumper sticker claims “Unity In Diversity”, and indeed, difference is the heartbeat of the place. In Mt. Airy, like almost nowhere else in the country, you can’t generalize about the inhabitants’ ethnicities, incomes, religions, sexual orientations, preferences in music, or even likelihood of shoveling when it snows…

This poster child of a diverse neighborhood is a refuge for the unorthodox and the ostracized, people who’ve broken from family, community of origin, or previous self. It is also a place for the aesthetically betwixt and between, those who want both a yard and an easy commute to the center of town. Welcome to a neighborhood where people of just about every race, religion, class, belief system, and sexual orientation come together and play very nicely.

(From Wikipedia / O Magazine)

Boundaries: Mount Airy is bounded on the northwest by the Cresheim Valley, which is part of Fairmount Park. On the west side is the Wissahickon Gorge, which is also part of Fairmount Park.  Germantown borders the southeast of Mount Airy, and Stenton Avenue marks the northeast border.

Zip Code:  19119

What To See / Do: Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, Awbury Arboretum, Cliveden, Wissahickon Park, More Info

Dining, Shopping and Events: Go Mt Airy

Schools:  Public: Charles W. Henry School, Henry H. Houston School, Anna L. Lingelbach School  (K-8), Germantown High School.

Charter: West Oak Lane Charter School and Wissahickon Charter School (K-8).

Private: Green Tree School (ages 6–21), Blair Christian Academy (PreK-12), Revival Hill Christian School (9-12), Islamic Day School of Philadelphia (PreK-5), Waldorf School of Philadelphia (PreK-8), Project Learn School (K-8), Classroom on Carpenter Lane (K-2), and Holy Cross School (K-8).

Public Transportation:  Two SEPTA Regional Rail lines connect the neighborhood to Center City. The Chestnut Hill West Line runs through West Mount Airy with stops at Allen Lane, Carpenter and Upsal stations, and the Chestnut Hill East Line through East Mount Airy with stops at Mount Airy, Sedgwick and Stenton stations—Washington Lane station is in Germantown across the street from Mount Airy.

The neighborhood is also served by SEPTA bus routes 18, 23 (formerly a trolley line), 53 (formerly a trolley line), H, and L.

FIND MT. AIRY HOMES FOR SALE

This summer, the Lovett Library has played host to outdoor movie nights in partnership with Mt Airy USA and the Trolley Car Diner.  Tonight’s selection, starting at 8:30 in the Memorial Garden on Germantown Avenue, is the Sandlot.  Great family fun and a really cool idea for Mt Airy!

Full schedule and more information available here.

Posted by Paul Walsh

I wanted to share this cool travelog piece from this weekend’s New York Times about the resurgence of Germantown Avenue in ‘downtown Mt Airy.’  It’s written by an extended member of the EW family: Zach Pontz, who’s older brother Jared Pontz is Vice-President of Martin Elfant, Inc., our affiliated property management firm.

I love this slideshow for showcasing the business community on our block – we’ve called it home for almost 30 years.  Take a look, please patronize the businesses, and shoot me a comment or message for menu suggestions!

 

“Enclave Embraces Brotherly Love”

 

Posted by Paul Walsh

Elfant Wissahickon REALTORS extends an invitation to all to join us at this weekend festivities. On Saturday, May 2nd, we’ll be hosting a booth at this year’s Mount Airy Day located on the historic grounds of the Cliveden House at Germantown Avenue and Johnson Street. On Sunday we’re hosting a booth at Chestnut Hill’s Garden Festival at Germantown Avenue and Hartwell Lane. We will have giveaways and free raffles to be drawn for fantastic prizes. Our agents will be on hand to talk about the current real estate market and answer any questions you may have regarding buying or selling a home. We will also have available information on the first time homebuyer tax credit, a menu of this week’s featured open houses along with information on our current homes for sale. Look forward to seeing you all there!

Posted by Paul Walsh

 

Erik moved to Philadelphia when he attended Temple University in 2005. He fell in love with the arts, food, and friendliness of the city and never left.

With almost 10 years of experience in real estate investment, commercial real estate, and property management, Erik has the knowledge and network to help clients in every step of their real estate venture. He understands the complexities that go into buying and selling real estate and he prides himself in his hands-on approach and attention to detail.

Whether you’re buying your first home, expanding to a larger home to accommodate your growing family, investing in the unique opportunities which Philadelphia has to offer, Erik has the experience and dedication to meet your needs.

In 2017 Erik (with the help of Elfant Wissahickon) purchased a home in the historic Pelham neighborhood of Mount Airy. The house, built in 1895, has been a labor of love ever since. Erik hopes to share with clients both his love for the old homes of Northwest Philadelphia, and his extensive network of contractors, plumbers, handymen, etc that he has utilized in the rehabilitation of his own house.

When Erik isn’t working with clients, you’ll find him enjoying the nightlife that Philadelphia has to offer, walking his shiba inu Charlie, or writing the next bestselling young adult novel.

Member: National Association of Realtors (NAR), Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors (GPAR), National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), West Mount Airy Neighbors (WMAN), Historic Germantown, Athenaeum of Philadelphia, Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.

I’m Allison, a Philadelphian, born and raised. As a child, I moved all around the area, living in East Mount Airy, the Northeast, Bensalem and then the Main Line. I spent summers down the shore in Ventnor, Atlantic City, and Ocean City. I currently live with my husband (Philly Home Guy, Christian) in our South Philly row home with our six-year-old son, Oliver and 5, yes I said 5, cats.  We love our neighborhood, Passyunk Square, and might be bold enough to claim it’s the best ‘hood in the city! Raising my son in Philadelphia, in a neighborhood I love is an enriching experience for my family of 3.

In my free time, I help run the CityKids Consignment Sale,  a non-profit kids consignment sale run 2x per year in South Philly. As a parent, you buy so much stuff!  Why not recycle it back into the community and make a little cash a the same time.  The sale benefits Lilypad, a parenting/event space in South Philly.  I also tend to my garden at Capitolo Community Garden, I’m involved in the HSA at Andrew Jackson Elementary where my son attends school.

Prior to joining the PHG team, I worked for many years as a digital project/product manager at many mighty Philadelphia-based companies.  I like to say that my love of music and my obsession with the early days of MTV lead me on my career path as I went from working in record stores to CDNOW.com, the first online music store.  We sold music online when Amazon only sold books! From there I made my way to Comcast, Urban Outfitters and then to well-known digital agencies Razorfish, Happy Cog and Think Company.

I brought my experience as a client facing project manager into my career as Realtor. I’m excited to forge new relationships and help my clients buy, sell and rent their homes.

Visit The Philly Home Girls’ Website Here