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187-year-old Washington Square West home needs saving, asks $550K

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It used to be a drugstore in the 1800s

A massive corner home in Washington Square West steeped in 187 years of history has hit the market for the first time in 31 years. The price tag? $550,000. The catch? It needs a lot of work—a lot.

For years, neighbors, passersby, and investors have walked past this house on 1221 Pine Street, wondering what interiors hid behind the historic building’s closed doors, says listing agent Tom Smitley. "I needed to wait to list it until the court approved the sale and the estate agents emptied it of its' contents," he tells Curbed Philly.

With the home officially hitting the market yesterday, it’s clear that the 2,643-square-foot property has plenty of potential—for someone willing to do the hard work.

"The estate agents are really looking for someone who’s going to bring back the home’s original integrity," says Smitley. "They don’t want it to be completely gutted."

The home dates back to 1829, when it was built by Joseph & Eliza Shoemaker, Jr. and used as a drug store on the first floor. The latest owner, a craftsman, bought the property privately in 1985, and spent years working to restore the building. There’s new wiring and plumbing, for example, and the top floor, which opens up to a roof deck, was also expanded. Smitley says the owner also hand-laid slate tiles onto the roof.

The property is technically listed at 1221 Pine Street, but it also includes 343-345 Camac Street. It’s big: There are six bedrooms, but only one half-bath. Consider it that another thing to add to the list of home repairs.

It’s zoned RSA-5 for residential or mixed-use, so again, plenty of potential. But given its historic designation, whoever buys this beauty will need to work with the city’s Historic Commission to return the home to its original grandeur.

Given the state of the historic property, there won't be any open houses—only private showings, says Smitley.