May 17, 2017
By Joann Greco | March 18, 2016 | Home & Real Estate
A big deal on the Main Line market, Albermarle—the former stables and dairy farm of the famed Ardrossan—is an idyllic design union of old and new.
The main house was Ardrossan’s original horse barn.
When the current owner of Albermarle first encountered the buildings that he would eventually convert into an elegantly appointed, 11,000-square-foot home, he needed a lot of imagination.
Formerly used as the stables and dairy farm for Ardrossan, the Villanova manse designed in 1912 by architect Horace Trumbauer, they were in shell condition. Precious little remained to suggest that Hope Montgomery Scott, the woman who inspired the socialite played by Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story, had once spent a great deal of time here tending to her horses.
Still, with a separate entrance located on the southern end of the original property—which sprawls for 750 acres—Albermarle’s provenance certainly was a selling point. What sealed the deal for the owner, though, is one of the parcel’s most distinctive outbuildings, its clock tower. “I just fell in love with it,” he says. “I knew right away it would make a great conversation piece.” The space, minus its peeling drywall and dropped ceilings, now serves as his home office. Taking center stage: the meticulously restored workings of an antique Seth Thomas clock.
Under the guidance of architect Lyman Perry and interior designer Linda Steinkhe, the three-year renovation also included the installation of a French country kitchen, complete with concrete countertops, and the creation of five bedrooms, a soaring great room, and a paneled library. Two other outbuildings provide four additional guest bedrooms and are equipped with kitchens and living areas.
A patio off the great room facing the pool area.
Throughout, the estate features an impeccable mix of original and new period details like inlaid floors, bespoke cabinetry, and crown moldings.
“This is a home for someone who values caring for and becoming a steward of a restored treasure,” says Lisa Weber Yakulis of Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty.
In addition to the gut job renovation, the designers carved out new garage spaces and, most noteworthy, a recreation barn that’s seamlessly matched to the stone exteriors of the original buildings. Marked by an antique door from Morocco, this rustic two-level space features distressed wood floors and exposed beams. A clever chandelier crafted from old wagon wheels watches over a jukebox and billiards table, while, upstairs, a completely fitted-out gym and powder room await. “I knew we had done it right,” the owner recalls with a laugh, “when someone visiting the property said he remembered the barn from when he was a kid.”
The property’s 17 acres include lush gardens, designed by award-winning landscape architect Chuck Gale and adorned with statuary and fountains, plus amenities like a pool and tennis courts. In many ways, says the owner, it’s what’s outside the home that he’ll miss the most once the property sells. “The land surrounding Albermarle is protected,” he says. “The views will be there forever.” For more information, contact Lisa Weber Yakulis
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM ALBERT