Say it ain't so! An award-winning home designed by Louis Kahn in the 1950s is poised for demolition to make room for senior rental housing.
The Morton Weiss House in East Norriton, a township 22 miles north of Philly, sits on a 9.9-acre property on Whitehall Road. Roizman Development Inc. has proposed to demolish the Weiss House and another home on the parcel and build 150 senior rental apartments and 180 parking spaces.
Kahn and his partner Anne G. Tyng built the one-story stone home in 1950 for local menswear retail shop owner Morton Weiss and his wife. They were awarded the 1950 American Institute of Architecture Gold Medal for the design of the 3-bedroom, 3-bath wood and stone home. The award recognized the ingenious design of south-facing glass panels that can be moved to control the amount of light and privacy.
On February 12 the developers met with East Norriton Township to discuss the proposed senior rental housing development. According to meeting notes sent to us by a Curbed reader, the developers have requested an overlay district called Age Qualified, which would require demolition of the two homes.
Developer Israel Roizman suggested that the stone from the Morton Weiss House could be used in the construction of the new three-story building:
Mr. Roizman proposed that the stone from the house could be incorporated into the construction of the new building but that the existing house is in very poor condition and that the interior dimensions would limit accessible access without major modification.
The house was bought by Tone Realty in 2002 for $550,000. The owner, Paul C. Pantione, said he is in favor of the development, according to a Times Herald article.
No official decision has been made, but at the meeting town supervisor Dennis DeSanto said that while he could not speak for the entire board, at this time he could not support the project at the location.