On the Market profiles homes for sale in the Philadelphia region.

When Jordan Lancaster was searching for his first home in Philadelphia in 2004, he had historic on his mind.

Moving from an older home in Trenton, he knew he wanted his next property to share similar features.

"I tend to prefer historic homes mainly because they tend to be much more interesting from an architectural point of view," Lancaster said. "I also find that the quality of craftsmanship, materials, and overall attention to detail tends to be much higher in historic homes as opposed to new construction."

So when Lancaster, an investment manager, was looking for a home with these characteristics, he knew he'd find many options in historic Philly.

He looked all over the city, but found Fitler Square to be most convenient. It was within walking distance to his new office, and he liked the idea of being close to all the action in Center City.

With those two things in mind, he found a 3,900-square-foot, 19th century row home at 2221 Locust Street that had everything he hoped for.

"One of the biggest things that attracted me to the property was that it was built in 1881," he said. "It was never subdivided into apartments; it had always been a single-family home, and had almost all original details."

Lancaster purchased the property and spent much of the next nine years adding his own touches.

He made sure to keep the original features, including the mouldings, a wall of closets with carved wood detail in the master bedroom and guest room, the pillars and ceiling in the parlor, leaded privacy glass windows, and the pumpkin pine floors.

"I didn't want to make any real structural changes but instead improve upon what was there," Lancaster said.

With the help of his neighbor and architect Julie Motl, he transformed one of the kitchens, the master bedroom and bath, and the outdoor area.

In the main kitchen on the lower level, he did a complete renovation by changing the shape of the island, adding new cabinets, and putting in a wine storage rack.

In the second kitchen, which is right next to the dining room, he completed some minor renovations as well.

Lancaster gutted the master bathroom, where he added in a walk-in closet, shower stall, double sink, new lighting, new tiles, and a heated floor.

He said the extensive backyard project included:

  • An excavation to bring the outside ground level below the grade in the kitchen

  • A new drainage system

  • New and restored stone retaining walls and white cedar fencing

  • A dining patio with slate and granite stone base

  • A plant irrigation system hidden in the fencing and a mounting system for holding potted plants along the fence

After spending almost a decade in the home, Lancaster is moving because his job is relocating again – this time to Conshohocken. He's looking to move closer to that area, so he has put the Fitler Square row home on the market for $1,479,000.

The home has four bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths. A roof deck, which can be accessed from the fourth-floor bedroom, has views of the Center City skyline.

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