September 29, 2022

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This onetime church sat ruined for 40 years before a developer turned it into multiple custom residences. This one in particular will delight your soul.
The old Fourth Reformed Church in Roxborough now contains several unique residences. The people who bought the church’s former Sunday school wing at 308 Monastery Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19128, turned it into a striking modern house that channels the spirit of the church. | Bright MLS images via Coldwell Banker Realty unless otherwise noted
When last we reported on the structure that became this Roxborough converted church house for sale, its foyer looked something like this:
Sanctuary foyer in 2012 | Photograph by Laura Kicey
That was in 2012, two years before we wrote about the transformation of the former Fourth Reformed Church rectory in Roxborough into a stylish residence.
The “after” photos in that article documented the transformation of the rectory itself. Now you’re about to see what happened to the church’s Sunday school building.
As that photo should make clear, this building was in very sad shape when owner Tony Lucente and his wife first laid eyes on it in 2012.
“My wife went to see it without me because I was in India at the time,” says Lucente. “And she looked in the front door, and where our dining-room table is, a piano had crashed through from the second floor because there was a hole in the roof and rain had poured in for 40 years.”
It had been that long since the last congregation to use the place as a church, the Holy Church of Christ, gave up the Holy Ghost. And it took quite some effort for the Lucentes to turn their piece of it into a residence even more stunning than the one in the rectory.
Tony explains that they had some idea of what they wanted it to look like, but after that, left the matter of realizing that vision to the builder and architect they had hired.
After they purchased the space in 2012, he says, “We were just sort of overwhelmed,” and they went searching online for photos of churches that had been converted into houses. But, he says, after that, “The builder did all the work. I found a picture of a church that had been converted into a house, and I downloaded it and said to the builder, ‘Can you do this?’ And he said yes.”
Ultimately, though, they did get professional design help, turning to LHS Residential Design to pull off the transformation along with developer Andy Thomas, who owned the entire building and did the construction work. And as these photos should show, the transformation is an impressive one, even more than the one that took place in the rectory.
Living/dining room
The main floor had been where the Sunday school was located. An original Warren Muller chandelier hangs from the ceiling in the foyer. Part of the seating and play space serves as the living room, which got a decorative fireplace installed.
Living/dining room and kitchen
The redesign turned its former stage into the kitchen, setting it off from the living room with Gothic arches.
Kitchen
Said kitchen, of course, is very well outfitted. Its equipment includes two five-burner Wolf commercial-grade gas ranges beneath a commercial-quality hood and a pot filler. You will also find a Sub-Zero fridge and wine fridge, a farmhouse sink, a dishwasher, a hidden coffee station and a built-in microwave oven. Another original Warren Muller chandelier hangs over the island. And the floor, backsplash, and fireplace surround all feature Moroccan tile from New York’s Mosaic House.
Rear patio
The rest of the Sunday school got turned into a rear patio enclosed by the original outer wall of the church. Together, these three spaces are ideally suited for indoor/outdoor entertaining — and there’s plenty of room for just one or the other, depending on the weather.
Den
Den
The second-floor primary suite is just as nicely designed and equally well thought out. It begins with a bright den open to the staircase.
Den balcony
French doors lead from the den to a balcony with a view of the surrounding area.
Primary bedroom
The primary bedroom is as spacious and airy as the den, with the light pouring through the windows framing the door to its private balcony enhancing the airiness. The bedroom balcony overlooks the rear patio.
Primary bathroom
Primary bathroom
The primary suite also has two large walk-in closets and a sumptuously outfitted bathroom.
Bathroom
The third floor contains three more bedrooms, the laundry closet and this cool bathroom with a double sink that should take some of you readers out there back to your school days — it sure took me there.
And even though this house sits on Monastery Avenue, you won’t live a monk-like existence here. First of all, this house begs you to invite people into it. And second, it’s close to the heart of Roxborough’s main shopping district along “the Ridge.”
And you can combine entertainment and exercise by walking the slightly greater distance to Manayunk’s Main Street, down the hill from here. Just go out your front door, turn right, then turn right onto Manayunk Avenue. Turn left at Lyceum Avenue, which becomes Levering Street halfway down the hill, and when you get to the bottom, you’ll be in the middle of everything, not to mention just one block from Manayunk Regional Rail station.
This Roxborough converted church house for sale combines luxury, style and comfort in a unique package. And it puts all that in a convenient location. It could be the answer to your prayers. It sure was for the Lucentes, who would no doubt remain residents here had they not gotten jobs in Los Angeles.
THE FINE PRINT
BEDS: 4
BATHS: 2 full, 1 half
SQUARE FEET: 3,000
SALE PRICE: $900,000
OTHER STUFF: This house also comes with two deeded parking spaces and two storage spaces in an underground garage which you can access via stairs from the kitchen.
308 Monastery Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19128 [Philip Cavalcanto |Cavalcanto Team | Coldwell Banker Realty]
 
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