Steve Aurand and his then-partner, now-husband Mathias bought their four-bedroom condo in Washington Square in 2005. But Aurand was interested in the building long before that.
"I remember being intrigued by Strickland Row from my earliest days in Philadelphia, back in the 1980s," he said.
When the couple visited the condo years later, they were drawn to the 45-foot width that previous owners had created.
"We loved the spacious feeling that was created by joining together next-door apartments in two separate buildings," Aurand said.
The extra space doesn't end there. Both the living room and the family room are two stories, providing plenty of vertical space.
"I play the piano, and the two-story living room is a great place for making music," Aurand said.
While they loved the unit's layout and location, the couple did undertake extensive renovations after purchasing the home. In addition to gutting the three full baths and the powder room, the couple also combined two bedrooms to create a massive master suite. Aurand said they were concerned with preserving as much detail as they could amidst the work.
"The renovations have a clean, contemporary feel, while preserving the original shutters, fireplaces, and other historic elements of the apartment," he said.
The home now features two en-suite master bedrooms in addition to a gourmet kitchen, hardwood floors throughout and new windows installed to keep the home quiet.
"We put in new insulated windows that help to shut out noise," Aurand said. "The quiet is a wonderful contrast to living in NYC."
Strickland Row also features a prime location just off Washington Square and a courtyard with a heated swimming pool.
"It's a warm, friendly community," Aurand said. "The apartment is in the center of everything."
The home also includes two years of pre-paid parking at a garage a block away. Aurand isn't sure new owners will even need it. "We once had a car, but we got rid of it," he said. "It is easy to walk everywhere."
After splitting their time between Philadelphia and New York for years, Aurand said he and Mathias are ready for a change. "We love Philadelphia, but we are reaching that point in life where we would like to spend our winters in a warmer climate," he said.