May 17, 2017
By Sarah Jordan | April 24, 2017 | Home & Real Estate
A handsome Main Line mansion built with entertaining in mind readies for its next housewarming party.
A project that took more than a year to build, the stately six-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion boasts a game room, gourmet kitchen, and library.
The cinematic good looks of the latest Newtown Square mansion to hit the market are undeniable. The house inspires images of leisure time well spent, of cocktail parties on the flagstone terrace with guests sipping G&Ts and admiring the sweeping views across the 12-plus acres of manicured grounds. Or maybe shooting pool with old friends in the wood-paneled library; or a carefree summer pool party for the kids. Discreetly located just a few minutes off the Main Line’s main roads, the handsome stone mansion—for sale at $5.3 million—resembles an English manor house of a bygone age.
Ann Capron of McIntyre Capron & Associates, a residential architecture firm with locations in Philadelphia and Paoli, spent two years designing the meticulously crafted home, which took 14 months to complete. Now 17 years old, the home’s grand details rival those of much older suburban estates. A custom-designed heavy oak wood front door opens onto a foyer where one quickly appreciates the sensible flow of rooms. No detail or design choice has gone unconsidered, right down to the platformed porcelain dog tub in the mud room with a thoughtful pair of steps for pups to descend.
The in-ground pool was purposely sunk several feet below the level of the house so that the pool—especially out of season during cooler months—would remain out of view from rear-facing windows. Hardwood floors run throughout the gorgeously light-filled home, as well as stunning millwork and moldings. “I took castings of all of the molding from the Hare family estate [which he’d previously owned] and duplicated them here exactly,” says Tom Bentley, who owns the mansion and is a home builder himself. The dining room, living room, family room, and kitchen are all graciously sized. The wide hallways give the upstairs and downstairs an appealing grandeur.
Its many rooms and features are arranged for maximum harmony and logic, including butler’s pantries near the dining room and kitchen complete with a massive butcher block island. There is ample storage and closet space for the six bedrooms; two full-size dressing rooms complement the master bedroom; an in-law suite is furthest from the heart of the house; a wood-paneled study is next to a clubby-looking billiards room and wet bar; and a playroom (with a wall-to-wall Beauty & the Beast-themed mural) is smartly stationed at the top of the house on its third floor.
“I used to entertain like crazy,” remembers Bentley, who drew up the floor plans with fun in mind. “The house fits 250 people no problem. I designed the flat area by the terrace to fit a Century Tent perfectly. I have electrical lines along the side, so we could set up a band, right into the tent.” With a mixture of nostalgia and practicality, he adds: “But, I don’t live that way anymore. It’s for somebody who is entertaining and has a family and younger kids. I have memories of my kids sledding in the backyard, having their friends over… but they’re older now. We’re in a different phase of life.” But, the builder can’t resist creating again. “I’m itching to build a new house. This place was a labor of love, but I’m anxious to begin a new project.” For more information, contact Lisa Weber Yakulis, Kurfiss Sotheby’s International Realty, 25 Morris Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610-517-8445
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM ALBERT