As Swarthmoreans, we spend our days in a living museum of architecture! In spite of the wealth of interesting properties, certain homes evoke our curiosity – and during the daily grind of drop-offs and pick-ups they inspire our imagination!
12 S. Swarthmore Avenue has always been one of those homes for me. Located at the gateway to Dartmouth Avenue’s tree canopy it stood for years behind a screen of trees, turret reaching toward the sky, looking almost like it was still in another time. Or like a misplaced fairy tale setting with Sleeping Beauty inside – waiting for someone to thrash through the thicket and kiss her!
To those of us in the know, it also held a great fascination because of having long ago been owned by the Cresson family. But more on that another day!
As soon as the REO company’s sign went up the phone calls began – it seemed that I was not the only one whose imagination was transported by this special house! The porch floor boards were weak and cracked in places, but I made it in with a few brave buyers to see the shockingly high ceilings, the handsome fireplace, and the heartbreaking but beautiful transformation of a property being reclaimed by Mother Nature. (I tweeted a photo of the back wall of the house with vines growing through here).
Although none of my buyers were prepared for such a project, I am delighted that D. Patrick Welsh’s own Mimi Muhlenberg brought in the buyer who is currently working to restore the home to its former glory! Yesterday I had to pull over when I saw sunlight bathing the home for the first time in a generation! It is amazing to see what a lovely big yard this house will soon have.
To encourage all of us to keep our eyes on the road while this restoration takes place I pledge to post the occasional picture here!