First things first, let's get the quibbling out of the way: Manayunk is in Philadelphia. We know people think it's not, and we understand that. It seems far away, and hilly, and there's a canal there, for heaven's sake. It's not urban at all, nor is it non-urban in a familiar way, like parts of the Northeast. But while the Manayunk Special Services District may call it a town, Manayunk is actually a neighborhood of Philadelphia. Which makes this the most unique rental in the city of Philadelphia for Renters Week 2012. This church was built in 1905 and has now been split up into eight condos, some of which have more ecclesiastical details than the others. (Check out Unit E—it's great.) For this rental, you walk up the grand wooden staircase, pass the stained-glass windows, and you come to the top of the church, where there's a two-bedroom apartment with a 25-foot partly vaulted ceiling. Much of the interior has been modernized, of course, including the kitchen, which anchors the open living area.
What's great about this apartment, as opposed to the others in the building, is that it has access to the church's three-story tower—very Quasimodo. You climb the winding staircase (we can hear the organ now) and there are the tower rooms, 200 square feet a piece, where you can hide out, meditate—you know, just let your hair down. Granted, the spiral staircase isn't made of stone or anything, but you can use your imagination.
The unit is wired for cable, has a washer/dryer and dishwasher, has central air, and two-car garage parking. Major caveat: The unit is on the market, so before you sign anything, make sure to ask what happens if it sells.
· Listing: 3849 Terrace Street A [MG Real Estate]