This historically certified residence in the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia was built circa 1745. The Philadelphia Historic Commission has described it as “an extremely rare and important survivor” and fortunately the new owners appreciated the historic importance of the house, the intimate scale of the rooms and the details of the construction. They understood that the house would need to be renovated from top to bottom and they wanted it to be a very energy-efficient structure that would sustain and enhance the house as a comfortable, contemporary residence for generations to come.
Although a solidly built brick house, the exterior envelope of the building was very porous and allowed considerable air and water infiltration. Our approach to renovating the historic structure included limiting the demolition of the original finish materials, sealing all areas of leakage, insulating wherever possible including the roof and cornice, and installing a sub-grade interior/exterior drainage system. All of the windows were replaced with historically correct double-hung insulated wood windows.
A one-story rear wing, added to the house in the 1950s, was removed and a two-story addition was designed to accommodate a kitchen and powder room on the first floor, and a master bedroom and bathroom on the second floor. The addition was designed to compliment the proportions of the historic structure and connect to it below the roof eave, leaving the cornice in place, and to allow for a modest garden and patio. The new construction included highly-insulated exterior walls and roof, and new double hung wood windows with insulated glazing filled with argon gas. A high efficiency heating and cooling system that meets the Energy Star standards was installed to serve all areas of the house. The house is divided into separate zones so that each area can be controlled by a programmable thermostat which adjusts to accommodate the occupancy by time of day. Additionally, new energy-efficient lighting, plumbing fixtures and appliances were selected and installed throughout the home.