Hoping to lure a class of high-earning residents, developers Cross Properties is leading the conversion of a different kind at the site of the former Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood: a $35 million adaptive re-use project from religious sanctuary into a high-end apartment complex. Located on the corner of Lancaster and City Avenues, the site was originally designed by Horace Trumbauer in 1919 as Green Hill Farms Hotel. The will be 112 one and two-bedroom units ranging from $1,650 to $2,300 per month and, in an homage to its past, will now boast hotel-like amenities such as a saltwater pool, fire pits, updated heating and air-conditioning, a billiards room and a movie lounge when the grounds open up sometime in December. It will look to meld the historic charm of the estate found in its red brick exterior, parquet floors and decorative fireplaces with a tasteful modernity to compliment the stunning features of the 120,000 square foot property in Lower Merion Township.
And while that sounds all well and good, you know the luxury apartment bit, one of the coolest parts of this property is that is the site of one of the most important musicological finds in recent memory when a librarian discovered a rare hand-written manuscript of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Grosse Fuge" (listen here)— which was sold soon thereafter at auction for a cool $1.95 million. Apparently, it wasn't the first time this had happened at Palmer:
It is the second time very rare musical documents have been found by chance at the former Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary -- now renamed the Palmer Theological Seminary. A Mozart manuscript was discovered there in 1990. So, who knows, maybe construction workers will find some other extremely rare historical document during the construction and renovation process?
· A religious dwelling's conversion [The Inquirer]
· Cross Properties' 132-Unit Multifamily Development to Replace Former School in Lower Merion [Multi-Housing News]
· A Historic Discovery, in Beethoven's Own Hand [The New York Times]
· Unique Beethoven Manuscript Sold At Auction [Billboard]