In the 29 years they have lived in their 200-plus-year-old town house in Queen Village, Roy Wilbur and his husband, Larry Buss, have seen many changes.
When they bought the three-bedroom, two-bath home, the neighborhood was mostly made up of older Italian Americans with a small African American contingent.
“It was on the cusp of gentrification,” Buss said.
The couple had been renting in Center City, but they wanted an older house with character but with generous enough proportions to accommodate Wilbur, who is 6-foot-7.
But they felt safe there and liked that they could walk to their jobs: Wilbur in marketing for the performing and visual arts, Buss as a college administrator by vocation and an artisan by avocation.
So they watched as the neighborhood continued to diversify with newcomers including young couples and Vietnamese. A struggling Lutheran church serving a small German population was bought by a Buddhist group and is now a thriving house of worship.
Five years ago came a coffee shop that draws from surrounding neighborhoods.
Now, Wilbur says, only three families remain on the block who were there when they bought the house.
But with Buss retired since 2013 and Wilbur since 2018, they are moving to live full time at their house in the Poconos.
The 2½-story Philadelphia house has pine flooring throughout, a spacious back yard and sun deck, and a wood-burning fireplace.
It also has numerous touches added by Buss over the years. These include tongue-and-groove flooring in the kitchen, a fountain in the back yard, a carved fireplace mantel with arts-and-crafts movement tiles, an art deco stained glass lunette over the front door, an art nouveau bas relief in the second-floor bathroom, and hand-carved radiator covers.
The house is close to restaurants, shopping, public transportation and, of course, the coffee shop on the corner.
The house is listed by Mike McCann of Keller Williams Philly for $469,900.