The Latimer House—the most expensive public listing in Philadelphia for a freestanding single-family home—has just passed its two-month mark on the open market. When the house was first built in 1993, the Inquirer's headline writers lost all sense of word count: "Their Dream Home: An Urban Villa David S. Slovic And His Wife, Ligia Rave-slovic Wanted Suburban Amenities - Space, Light, Security, Privacy, A Carport And Courtyard. And They Wanted Them In Center City." Husband and wife were both architects at the time, and they collaborated on the design of the house. David won the Paul Phillip Cret Gold Medal in Design and was a Henry Luce Professor of Architecture and Society at Tulane University before he established an architecture and design career in the Philadelphia area. In recent years he transitioned from architect to artist, a shift he spoke about at the Slought Foundation in 2010. At that talk, he showed slides of the Latimer Street house as one of two works that represented his style. He said it was like "a sculpture big enough to walk through."
Here are some other things he said at the Slought talk to describe the Latimer House:
"The design allows for the entire space to be seen at once when you walk in, and yet through a multiplicity of views, you're always seeing something beyond or something new."
"The envelope is completely independent into a large volume, but it's layered, and every vantage point is the result of a linear perspective."
"There's an intimacy that's created within this large volume through freestanding objects that are framed by this grand [and] open three-dimensional volume."
"The volume allows the view to travel, and [allows for] the perception of layers, borders, patterns, light, shadow, movement, along with the tension that happens between the outside and the inside, as well as the sense of being defined and being opened—rooms behind things, but yet it's still open."
You get it now? As for the more mundane details:
Size: Three bedrooms, five baths, 5,900 square feet
Price: $6.2 million
Outdoor space: 2,000 square foot private courtyard garden. Sun deck.
City living bonus: Multiple car parking
Industrial age grace note: Bethlehem steel used in construction
· Listing: Latimer House, Philadelphia PA [Prudential Fox & Roach/Micki Stolker]