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8635 Seminole Street
Philadelphia, PA

As part of Henry Howard Houston’s vision for real estate development around the recently opened Pennsylvania Railroad line (now the Chestnut Hill West SEPTA line), G.W. and W.D. Hewitt Architects designed this circa 1890 graceful stone Queen Anne Victorian home. In 2012 when the current owners purchased the property, most of the original amenities and details remained intact. The original millwork and plaster moldings are enhanced by the volume of the 1st floor rooms with 10’ high ceilings. The original servant’s kitchen, separate from the generous 1st floor living spaces, was overdue for renovation as was a rear entry shed that contained a laundry and Powder Room. Inefficient HVAC systems and aging piping needed to be replaced. Second floor bathrooms were also in need of renovation but would be part of a second phase of renovation.

The 1st phase of work included modernizing the kitchen, opening up and connecting the space with the other living spaces, removing dated wall paper and refreshing the interior palette of finishes, insulating the rear shed and updating the Laundry and Powder Room. During the course of the 1st phase of work, we planned for and roughed in utilities for the 2nd phase of renovations on the 2nd floor. The 2nd phase of work included creation of a Master Suite and the complete renovation and conversion of a hall bath into a Master Bath. While the aesthetic is more contemporary, respect for the original character of the interiors and appropriate restraint was exercised in the renovations. The updated house nurtures a modern living style while embracing and retaining its’ historical past.