6 Beds

2 full baths

1928 SqFt

6505 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA

The Billmeyer House is seeking a new steward for the first time in a generation.

The original parts of the house are constructed of 18” thick Wissahickon schist, dressed on the Germantown Avenue facade. The deep windows in these thick stone walls have presence in the rooms and give the house a feeling of real solidity. All woodwork, doors and hardware in the house are 18th century, giving the house a consistent historic feeling throughout. The detailing is of high quality, and the very few modern alterations are consistent with the simplicity of the 18th century. This is an historic gem.

Every room has a unique quality and situation due in part to aspect and in part to changing ceiling heights and floor levels. The high living room feels grand, opening to a lower dining room with original walk-in fireplace, a perfect room for long intimate dinners with friends and a fire. The step up into the kitchen beyond increases the sense of intimacy. Upstairs, the large middle room steps down into the more intimate bedroom. Rooms on both floors connect in long vistas along the south facing wall, making the house feel ample, extensive and full of natural light. The house has a feeling of unity and singularity, yet special places within the house can feel quite apart from others. The combination of spatial unity and the utter uniqueness of each room enlivens the senses. Every room is beautiful in its own particular way. The house constantly satisfies and surprises.

Every room receives southern light, and rooms at the ends receive eastern and western light. At certain times of year, the setting sun moves through the entire length of the house and hits a corner at the other end. There is beautiful changing light during the day, and the old glass makes shimmering reflections on the walls. The third floor feels completely separate from the rest of the house, like an aerie in the treetops, birds singing right outside an open window.

The large living room feels like a volume of space on top of a hill, land descending on all sides. It sits half a flight above the Avenue, and that, plus the long garden along Upsal Street makes the house feel very private and apart from city life. When you enter the house you feel as if you are stepping back nearly 300 years. When you open the Dutch door, you feel immediately part of a bustling street but also part of an early American town, as all views are of historic buildings, or, along Upsal, of the church park. Trees fill the views from every window.

From the house one can easily walk to Cliveden’s beautiful grounds, a car mechanic, a dentist, the library, Project Learn Elementary School, a grocery store, a small cafe, an ice cream parlor, and, best of all, to Frosted Fox Bakery two doors down. It is also an easy walk down beautiful Upsal Street to the train station for trips into Center City, and buses take you up and down the Avenue. It is an easy drive to Forbidden Drive for long walks, to Lincoln Drive, or to exit the city to the north.

Property has a curb-cut on Upsal Street that is not currently in use. Potential for on-site parking.

Property Details
Property Type Residential
Year Built 1729