Constructed by a backhanded metropolis council member who for many years housed a famend native physician, this one-of-a-kind townhouse can now be yours.

There is no such thing as a doubt that this Fishtown townhouse is exclusive to its neighbors. Frank Furness would not have wished it some other approach, which is why he gave this home its distinctive look. He orders his nook at 2176-78 E. York St., Philadelphia, PA 19125 | Images: Sandy Smith, until in any other case famous

Who says corruption does not produce any profit?

If it weren’t for an actual property administrator who was elected to the Philadelphia Widespread Council after which convicted of embezzlement from the property he administered, you would not have the chance to buy this uncommon gem – a Frank Furness designed townhouse on the market. in Fishtown.

It has an attention-grabbing historical past, quite a lot of character, and various Furnessian distinctive particulars. It’s also surprisingly intact, due to the care and a focus of a succession of homeowners.

The primary proprietor was a gentleman named John Ruhl. Ruhl served as a invoice collector for the Sepviva Property, one among two plots of land collected by Isaac Norris within the 18th century. As a result of Norris ‘will prevented the property from being subdivided and offered in items, Norris’ youngsters and grandchildren needed to resort to leasing plots from builders so as to enable Kensington’s continued development within the industrial growth. post-civil battle.

house for sale Frank Furness Fishtown townhouse picture in the book

2176-78 E. York St. because it appeared in 1996, from “Frank Furness: The Full Works”.

Ruhl’s function in all of this was as assistant to the property’s income collector, J. Dickinson Sergeant. Ruhl’s job was to gather the bottom hire (or “charges,” to talk of actual property) from the house owners of the homes and remit it to the sergeant, who in flip remitted the cash to the property trustees.

Or that is the way it was imagined to work. As an alternative, as Ruhl gained the belief of his boss, directors, and fellow Kensingtonians, who elected him to the Widespread Council in 1885, he was busy scouring the property, his boss, and a number of other native constructing associations – over $ 30,000, a princely sum in 1887, when he was accused of embezzlement. An 1888 newspaper report attributed Ruhl’s conduct to his playing habit; he had amassed money owed of about $ 100,000.

house for sale Frank Furness Fishtown townhouse vestibule tiled floor

Unique tiles within the vestibule

In response to the accusations, Ruhl fled town in February 1888, solely to return in March to face the music. He was sentenced to a few years within the county (metropolis) jail and lived the remainder of his life in darkness within the far north of Philadelphia. His Kensington property was turned over to the sergeant for the sum of 1 greenback. The sergeant then turned to promote it to eminent doctor Thomas Shriner.

Between the time Ruhl acquired his palms on the property and the time the courtroom took the property from him, he constructed this stunning home and workplace in 1886. Though the unique property data have been misplaced, this home is attributed to Furness, Evans & Co., and it seems within the picture e book Frank Furness: The whole works.

The house and workplace present a well-preserved instance of Furness’ method to the Queen Anne type that was standard within the Golden Age. However the place most of Queen Anne’s houses have been mellow concoctions of turrets, gables, and pointed roofs, this residence carries the muscular and vigorous contact of Furness.

house for sale Frank Furness Fishtown townhouse staircase in foyer

Staircase within the corridor

living room


dining room

Eating room

dining room fireplace

Eating room lobby and workplace door

As on the surface, so inside: its inside structure and its design components bear witness to the genius of the grasp whose work paved the best way for contemporary structure. And as these pictures ought to clarify, these components have been very effectively preserved. From the tiled ground within the vestibule to the staircase within the entrance corridor by means of the matching fireplaces in the lounge and eating room, by means of the wardrobes and closet doorways within the bedrooms, the eclectic style and assertive type of Furness permeate this residence.

house for sale Frank Furness Fishtown townhouse front door

Entrance door

And it stands out from the others round it, says its present proprietor, Julie Sabur. Beginning together with his entrance door: “We’ve got the most important entrance door within the block, and he [Furness] had the most important ego. Which might have made him the right architect for a person within the making with the ambition to point out his standing.


Workplace / bonus room

Ruhl ran his actual property enterprise from this room within the one-story wing hooked up to the principle home, and Shriner ran his medical follow from this similar room till his loss of life in 1915. Presently, it features as a bonus room, and Sabur has embellished with an eclectic assortment of objects from a number of totally different international locations and eras. However because it has its personal entrance on Sepviva Avenue, it might make an ideal workplace for a home-based skilled who needs to fulfill purchasers with out having them come by means of the home first.



There have been a couple of important modifications to the home, all earlier than Sabur purchased it in 2004. (We featured this home in our actual property difficulty that 12 months.) The bigger one moved the kitchen from the again of the primary ground to the nice room in the midst of the second ground. This transfer gave the kitchen sufficient area to double as a eating area and even accommodate an workplace.

original cuisine

Unique delicacies | Picture: Julie Sabur

However if you happen to plan to entertain typically within the formal eating room, you may wish to think about returning its authentic kitchen to its first use. Little question you will wish to revamp the Furness built-in pantry while you do.

front room on the top floor

Entrance bed room on the highest ground

The second main modification added skylights and a loft area to the entrance bed room on the highest ground. Because of this, the room would make an incredible artist studio. Sabur’s companion, storyteller and musician Declan O’Brien, presently makes use of it as a studio.

master bedroom

Master suite


Wardrobe designed by Furness in the main bedroom

“I attempted to design this home to make structure the principle focus,” says Sabur, who notably likes fireplaces. However, she continues, “it is actually laborious to not muddle issues up.”

One way or the other, nonetheless, she managed to keep away from doing that. Consequently, the bedrooms in the home are all very spacious.


Court docket

The identical goes for its charming aspect courtyard, which has entrances from each the principle home and the workplace.

But whereas it is roomy and lightweight, it is also large – one other Furnessian trait. “When you solely wanted to make use of a two-by-four, it might use a four-by-eight,” says Sabur. “Each door needed to be greater and higher. And from what I perceive, it is in line with his expertise, his creativeness and his design.

And what which means to you, the customer, is that you just get a home that was constructed to final, not like many homes constructed in the present day. It is ideally suited to in the present day’s work-from-home life-style, and it is spacious sufficient you can flip it into an Airbnb – or perhaps a actual B&B. In any case, it has that distinctive attraction that friends love.

This home sits close to the northeast nook of Fishtown, within the space the place it straddles East Kensington and Port Richmond, an space some wags check with as “Port Fishington”. It’s throughout from Horatio Hackett Faculty, one block from Konrad Sq. Park and one block from Frankford Avenue on the level the place Trenton Avenue crosses it.

And while you wish to depart the comfy confines of Fishtown, you’ll be able to both take the SEPTA Route 5 bus on Frankford Avenue or the Market-Frankford line at York-Dauphin station, six blocks from right here. (Though you may get distracted alongside the best way and step into Martha as an alternative.)

This implies the bustling eating places and retailers alongside the Fishtown stretch of Frankford Avenue and public transport are simply steps out of your entrance door.

And it is usually a formidable gateway. The identical goes for the traditionally licensed Frank Furness Fishtown home on the market.



SPA: 3


SELLING PRICE: $ 1,690,000

OTHER THINGS: This residence, situated at 2176-78 E. York St., Philadelphia, PA 19125, is just not listed on the regional a number of listings service as a result of Sabur is liable for the sale herself. events ought to contact her straight by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling 267-551-1805.

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