The History of 1708 Welsh Road

In real estate, as in most sales oriented businesses, we're taught to set goals. I always set larger goals that were a little open to interpretation.

For example, I knew I wanted to be a real estate investor, but I didn't say I wanted to own 3 or 5 or 7 properties. All of my goals were clear and achievable, but open to a little flexibility.
One of my goals as a young man was to own an architecturally significant" piece of real estate. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I coined the phrase to indicate that I wanted to own a cool looking building that was somehow pretty neat.

A number of years ago , I co-signed for a friend, and ended up getting stuck with an old building that had been vandalized. It was an old house that had been getting old and weathered when I was a very young boy.

Trying to make lemonade out of the lemon I got stuck with, I had plans drawn up to make the property into offices, figuring that I would rent each office like an office suite. As my company grew, I got too busy to get involved in what seemed to be a huge project, until 2004 when we really needed the space for our company.

Sure enough, the job was a massive undertaking, and it seemed like there were problems at every turn, but after about 7 months, we were ready to move in to our new home.

The building, a Queen Anne Victorian with a large porch, turret, and stone finish, had turned out pretty well, and though the interior was great office space, the front of the building had been restored to something that we thought might approximate the original home.

Then my friend Eileen Wulko brought in a history book owned by her dad Joe McDermott Sr. In the book was a picture of our office taken in the very early 1900s showing the house, old phone lines, electric street lights, and an old car driving up Welsh Road to Bustleton Avenue. I was thrilled to see that the house (form the street) looked pretty much the way it had 100 years earlier,

A couple of years went by, and I got a call from a man named Barclay Thorne who said that his grandfather had built the property (and the house next door) and that he had pictures of the construction of the home.

We met and he was kind enough to allow me to scan the photos of the building of the property, pointing out the architect holding the drawings in one photo, and sharing with me stories of his family.

The video here is comprised of some of those photos, the photo found by Joe McDermott, and some photos of the renovation of the building in 2004.

Courtesy of RealEstateShows, here is a video montage of one of the oldest homes in the Bustleton section of Philadelphia. My "architecturally significant" office, and the completion of one of my goals.

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